A communication member of the opposition National Democratic Congress in the Ashanti Region has described the 27 charges levelled against former COCBOD CEO, Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni and one Seidu Agongo for causing financial loss to the state as purely a politically targeted persecution.Speaking on Abusua Nkommo hosted by Kwame Adinkrah, Kwaku Asafo Agyei argued that Dr Opuni couldn’t have unilaterally awarded any contract as CEO of Cocoa Board since contracts awarded were in consultation with and upon approval of the Board of directors of Ghana Cocoa Board.
He wondered why government would single out Dr. Stephen Opuni for prosecution leaving out the board of directors of Ghana Cocoa Board if indeed the Dr. Opuni had wrongly awarded a contract to an undeserving company which amounts to causing financial loss to the state if not for the purpose of political witch-hunting.
The charges against the two come a week after President Nana Akufo-Addo told Ghanaians in his address at the 61st Independence Anniversary celebrations, to expect more prosecutions of persons deemed to have engaged in the misappropriation of state funds.
Nonetheless, the vociferous communicator says the news of Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni and one Seidu Agongo being charged with 27 counts of causing financial loss to the state didn’t come as a surprise since it was purely a political witch- hunting by the President Akufo-Addo and his NPP government.
”Kwame the news seriously didn’t come as a surprise at all and we all have the right to share our thoughts on what the government is doing, first of all NDC as a party do not glory or protect members of the party who engage themselves in corruption and the evidence is clear because when former President John Dramani Mahama was in office a committee was set up to investigate the GYEEDA scandal to investigate Abuga Pele, and Philip Assibit who were subsequently sent to court and were convicted so if somebody says NDC as a party glorifies corrupt officials that point is already defeated in the first place”.
”Secondly we all know that we have what we call the RULE of LAW in our country that guides us and specify clearly that until a person is proven guilty he’s due innocence of any allegation meted out on him since such people get the right to counsel and also have a standard of prove to indeed affirm that such a person is guilty and that is why judges demand for evidence in the law court before coming out with a verdict”
”What I know is that you can only initiate prosecution but cannot conviction so I sometimes get worried when I hear people like Kennedy Agyapong barking on radio and TV calling for some state officials to be jailed. Is the NPP and Akufo- government justice of a court? You see their utterance even when there were in opposition is what make us believe more that what they are doing is politically motivated”.
”If you look at the posture of the NPP clearly it tells you they have an agenda and they have done that before looking at the circumstances in which Tsatsu Tsikata was jailed with the same court later disclosing he was wrongly jailed and got him exonerated so these are things they are doing to expose their hidden-agenda”
”We all know the good job Dr. Opuni has done for this country do you remember the Aggressive Cocoa Rehabilitation Project that recruited over 30,000 young men to do Cocoa farming. Let me put this on record that the NPP since assuming power in 2017 have not imported just a bag of fertilizer the ones we have in the system currently were imported by Dr. Opuni which is being sold to Cocoa farmers in the country by this Akufo-Addi NPP government”.
“The information I’m getting now is that Agricut/ Seidu Agongo is already in court with Cocobod concerning the same contracts. Cocobod has actually offered to settle the matter out of court through Arbitration.
”Let me tell you just last week, Cocobod released an amount of $57million to Agricut as part of the arbitration process.
That same chemicals and fertilizers they said was fake is what they are now selling to cocoa farmers. This is because, this government hasn’t procured fertilizers/chemicals since they assumed office.”
In February 2017, the Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO) froze the assets of Dr Opuni as part of investigations into his tenure as CEO of COCOBOD.