The former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD under erstwhile NDC and John Dramani Mahama administration, Dr. Stephen Opuni has been charged with twenty seven offences including causing financial loss to the state.
The Attorney General has sued the former COCOBOD CEO together with one Seidu Agongo, CEO of Zeera Group of Companies and Agricult Ghana Limited beneficiaries of a supposed fraudulent contract worth GHC43, 120,000.
The contract in question occurred between 2013 and 2016 and the defendants are expected to appear in court on March 23, 2018.
The defendants are also expected to answer twenty seven charges including abetment of crime, defrauding by false pretense, conspiracy to commit crime willfully and causing financial loss to the state.
According to the suit, Mr. Agongo and Agricult Limited wrongfully obtained the amount between 2013 and November 2014 by representing COCOBOD to supply Lithovit Follar Fertilizer from Germany for application by farmers on their cocoa for the 2013/2014 cocoa season.
Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni according to the suit, between November 2014 and November 2015 abated Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited to defraud Ghana COCOBOD of the sum of Ghc75, 289, 314.72.
“Stephen Kwabena Opuni on the 10th of October 2014 in Accra agreed to permit your conduct as the CEO of COCOBOD to be influenced with an amount of Twenty Five Thousand Ghana Cedis (25,000) from Seidu Agongo”.
The suit believes that the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD failed to satisfy with the prescription conditions for single-sourced procurement. The state finally stated that Seidu Agongo and Agricult sold misbranded fertilizer contrary to section 114(1b) of the Plant and Fertilizer Act 2010(Act 803).
The Ashanti regional branch of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the other hand, has accused government of embarking on a witch-hunt.
In a statement signed and issued by Raymond Tandoh, Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NDC, the party said it was not happy about the development.
“Stephen Opuni is a victim of a growing political culture of hounding predecessors to justify campaign claims of corruption,” said the party.
According to the National Organizer of the NDC, Mr. kofi Adams, the former CEO, Dr. Opuni has done nothing wrong to deserve the treatment meted out to him by the current government.
“Why didn’t the Board report any wrong doing when it approved those contract?” Mr. Adams asked Joy News Evans Mensah, adding the government is hunting for people to blame for its inefficiency.
Meanwhile, flashback has it that, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) equivocal law-maker, Kennedy Agyapong warned of dire consequences for his party if it failed to jail the former CEO and others.
“The more they delay, the more concrete evidence is shielded from the public. I think the processes to haul these past appointees before the court should begin immediately before the IPP is put in place in the future. I am aware a docket for prosecution of five officials including Dr. Opuni is ready by the CID,” he told Net2 TV National Agenda.
Source: Austin Ofori Addo/ritefmonline.org