General News Sun, 18 Mar 2018

Opuni's saga: Special Prosecutor should take over the case from AG - Adongo

The Member of Parliament for the Bolgatanga Central constituency Hon. Isaac Adongo has stated that, the case involving the former COCOBOD boss, Dr Stephen Opuni, in which he is alleged to have caused financial loss to the State should be handed over to the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Speaking on Multi TV, oh Saturday, March 17, the MP has indicated that, the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo should save the State wastage by handing over the case to Martin Amidu by Monday and avoid interrupting the case.

He said, “The Attorney General is roaming there, Martin Amidu is also roaming in the same court on different matters. We are wasting taxpayers’ money. Go and give this case to Martin Amidu. In fact, they should transfer this case to Martin Amidu to do his work.

“Attorney General, Monday [19 March], just transfer this case ‘bokoo’ to Martin Amidu and wash your hands off it because that is what we have agreed as a country to pursue, we don’t want this double standard behaviour, they should just hand over this case to Martin Amidu to pursue it, hand over the docket”.

The MP added that, the country is running a parallel system where both the Minister of Justice as well as the Attorney General and the Special Prosecutor are performing the same function.

He said, “Today we are running parallel systems: Martin Amidu is sitting there and Attorney General is in court doing Martin Amidu’s work. Why waste taxpayers’ money? That is exactly what is happening."

Attacking the media on the mode of transmitting the case involving Dr Opuni, Hon. Adongo expressed how disheartening it is on how the issues are twisted.

He said, “To be honest with you, my biggest fear in all of this is not the fact that the accused will not have their day in court, obviously they will. My issue is even before this issue came out, the way Daily Guide was already reporting snippets of it, and the moment this process was filed, it was all over social media, what was the intent? So, clearly, the trial in the public court has already started.

“In fact, on one of the NPP’s platforms, somebody said: ‘By all means, one of the 27 charges will incriminate them’. So, I get worried. You see, when you listen to the technical issues that have been raised, I mean we have people who have worked so hard to build their business, we mustn’t be seen as a country that pursues an agenda to destroy private businesses and I feel so sad that we’ve already started trying some businesses.

“Who would have known the company that Seidu Agongo is dealing with? It is now one of the accused persons and I know Cocoa Health and Extension Division strongly recommends this product [Lithovit Foliar] to our farmers. We should not be seen to be allowing processes that destroy private businesses. The point I want to make is that; yes, they will have their day in court if they are convinced that they have not done anything wrong, but my point is: the sanctity of contracts. And you asked a very valid question: there are remedies in contracts that we sign, to what extent do we exhaust those processes?”

Mr Opuni is being prosecuted with 27 charges including willingly causing financial loss to the State between 2014 and 2016 to an amount of GHC217 nillion.

The case includes him and Mr Seidu Agongo and AgriCult Ghana Company Limited over three separate fertiliser supply contracts.

In the agreement between COCOBOD and Agricult Ghana Company Limited, Lithovit Foliar, which was supposed to be sourced from Germany was being produced locally.

Dr Opuni also took a bribe of GHS25,000 from Mr Agongo in October 2014 to facilitate the award of one of the contracts by misrepresenting facts to the Public Procurement Authority as alleged by the State.

Source: ghanaguardian.com
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