The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has debunked reports that its Board Chairman, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, pocketed $10,000 as per diem for a foreign trip he did not embark on.
Digital news platform, Whatsup News, in a recent publication headlined, ‘Hackman’s Cocobod Blues – Accused of pocketing US$10,000 per diem,’ levelled numerous allegations against the COCOBOD boss, including his alleged authoritarian leadership.
According to Whatsup News, “The string of allegations being leveled against the Board Chairman of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang appear to be escalating as insiders recount how he allegedly pocketed a $10,000 per diem for a travel he did not embark on.”
But the Public Affairs Department of COCOBOD, in a statement said “the allegation that Hackman Owusu-Agyemang ‘pocketed’ some $10,000 per diem for a trip he did not embark upon is completely false.”
Setting the records straight, COCOBOD indicated that “he was indeed scheduled to attend a programme on Corporate Governance and Leadership outside the country for which per diem was issued to him.”
It added that “unfortunately due to ill-health, Mr. Owusu-Agyemang was not able to attend the programme. He, therefore, returned the full sum of money issued to him as per diem to the Solicitor Secretary from whom he received the money in the first place.”
The statement observed that the programme in question, which the Board Chairman was unable to attend, was organized for board members and senior executives of corporations and organizations across the world contrary to Whatsup News report that the trip was supposed to be for technical staff of COCOBOD.
On staff bonuses which was one of the issues raised in Whatsup News report, it said “it must be made clear that the current Board of COCOBOD has not taken a decision to scrap the bonus system for the staff of COCOBOD as has been alleged, and no one- not the Board Chairman or any other person- is championing having the payment of bonuses ceased.
“We wish to put on record that the Board of Directors of COCOBOD is made up of very reputable persons and one person cannot take decisions in the name of the Board. The Board Chairman and his colleagues have a cordial relationship. He is not authoritarian.”