Ecobank Ghana sues Opera News for defamation

Ecobank Ghana sues Opera News for defamation
Ecobank Ghana sues Opera News for defamation

Ecobank Ghana Limited has sued Opera News Ghana for defamation after the online news platform published a story which suggested that the head office of the bank was to be closed down following its inability to pay a debt to a businessman.

The bank wants damages for libel against the defendant for the July 21, 2020 publication which stated that: "an order was given by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, to close down the Plaintiff's head office" "the decision follows the inability of the bank to settle a GH¢4,000,000.00.00 debt owed a businessman".

Ecobank also wants an order compelling the defendant to retract the defamatory statements published on the online platform which retraction shall be published for a continuous period of at least 60 days, an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from publishing further defamatory allegations against the plaintiff, exemplary damages and costs including legal fees.

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In a statement of claim, lawyers for the bank said the words used to describe it in the publication were defamatory of its operations as a tier 1 bank and the platform failed to contact it for its side of the story.

The bank argues that the publication brought its operations into disrepute and exposed it to "odium and scandal".

The plaintiff further argues that not only was the publication false but it was negligently published.