Former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Dapaah, has taken legal action against the Multimedia Group, alleging defamation resulting from several publications by the media house.
In her statement of claim, filed by her lawyer, Victoria Barth, Dapaah contends that the Multimedia Group’s news outlet, JoyNews, published false information about her financial accounts in connection with the Special Prosecutor’s investigation. The case has sparked considerable controversy and legal debate.
Dapaah’s lawsuit centers on a specific incident. On August 10, 2023, JoyNews released an article titled “OSP tracks $5m, finds GHc 48m in Cecilia Dapaah’s Prudential Bank accounts.”
This article claimed to have inside information from the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) regarding the amounts of money in Dapaah’s frozen bank accounts.
However, the OSP promptly refuted these claims, asserting that it had not disclosed any specific amounts found in Dapaah’s accounts.
Despite the OSP’s rebuttal, JoyNews continued to share stories on social media platforms and persisted in asserting that $5 million and GHC 48 million had been discovered in Dapaah’s accounts.
This consistent reportage allegedly caused harm to Dapaah’s reputation and led to negative public perceptions of her character.
Dapaah’s legal team offered the Multimedia Group an opportunity to retract the publications and apologize, but the media company reportedly failed to do so, leading to the defamation lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, Dapaah seeks several declarations and orders from the court, including a declaration that JoyNews’ reports were false and defamatory, exemplary damages for reckless and malicious reporting, an order to prevent further defamatory material, a retraction and apology with equal prominence to the original publications, and any other orders deemed appropriate by the court.
The case highlights the growing importance of responsible journalism and the potential legal consequences for media outlets that publish unverified or false information.
It also raises questions about the balance between freedom of the press and the protection of individuals’ reputations in the age of rapid information dissemination.
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