A former Deputy Trades and Industry Minister in the erstwhile Mahama-led NDC government strongly believes certain people within the opposition party sold out the former Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Steven Opuni, just to make ends meet.
Murtala Ibrahim is also accusing the current administration of finding the "easiest target" for possible prosecution.
“I have monitored with profound dismay the kind of comments certain NDC people have made about Dr Opuni and for which reason they came to a conclusion that we should allow Dr Opuni to dry . . . it is not about Dr Opuni, it is about the NDC. What this government is doing is not about a person; you may think that today, it is against somebody and therefore allow the person to dry; what the NPP does is to find the easiest target to pick…”
Murtala Mohammed, a former NDC MP for Nanton constituency in the Northern Region, who was contributing to a panel discussion on Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji programme, also claimed the NPP's intended trial of Dr Opuni, is based on hearsay and lies sold to them by certain hypocrites within the NDC.
“You can’t listen to everybody and do whatever they say. If today you think it is Dr Opuni and so you will leave him, you are pouring poison in your own chalice. If you want to prosecute anybody, prosecute on principles, facts and not because you hate the person.
"I know that these people (NPP) have the courage to do what they are doing because there are still hypocrites within the NDC who have problems with certain individuals, and when we were in government they were giving baseless allegation and stories to them and there are still some of them whose stomach cannot blow air; they think that NDC is in opposition, they need something to chop they must go to the NPP with these absolute lies and they are hinging on those lies to prosecute people. You go to court to prosecute people with evidence supported by law. You don’t prosecute people with emotions, preposterous stories that are giving to you by people who cannot stand the test of incorruptibility," he added.
Dr. Opuni has been accused of “abetting Mr. Agongo and Agricult Ghana Ltd. to defraud the COCOBOD the sum of GH¢43,120,000 between January 2014 and November 2014.
He has also been accused of abetting the businessman to defraud the state the sum of GH¢75,289,314.72 million between November 2014 and November 2015.
According to the suit, “Mr Seidu Agongo, between October 2015 and March 2016 in Accra in the Greater Accra Region with intent to defraud Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) obtained the consent of COCOBOD to part with the sum of GH¢98,935,974.50 by representing to COCOBOD that you will supply Lithovit Foliar Fertilizer from Germany for application by farmers on cocoa for the 2015/2016 cocoa season, a representation which you knew to be false at the time of making it.”
State prosecutors have also accused Dr Opuni of receiving GH¢25,000 as ‘kickback’ to influence the performance of his duties.
The two will appear before an Accra high court on Friday, February 23, 2018.