NDC will stand by Opuni to fight cooked charges – Kofi Adams
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) will rally behind former COCOBOD boss, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni who is facing charges for causing financial loss to the state, the NDC National Organiser has said.
Describing the charges against Dr Opuni as made-up, Kofi Adams said NDC executives and farmers whose lives have been impacted by the work of the former COCOBOD CEO will rise to his defence.
He was reacting to the 27 charges levelled against the COCOBOD CEO and CEO of Zeera Group, Seidu Agongo after they were accused of conspiring to defraud the state.
Dr Opuni is said to have signed three separate contracts for the supply of fertilisers from Germany that caused the state to lose the sum of GHS217million.
In its pleading served the court, the state claims, Dr Opuni connived with CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited, Mr Agongo to secure GHS43.1million worth of fertilizer contract even when the two knew the terms and conditions could not be met.
The fertilisers were to be imported from Germany for onward distribution to farmers for the 2013/2014 cocoa farming season.
But the fertilisers were produced locally by Mr Agongo's company contrary to the terms of the agreement.
The state observed the clandestine strategy was carried out in the subsequent farming seasons resulting in a major contract costing GHS75.3million in 2015.
Investigations into contracts signed by Dr Opuni started three days after the inauguration of president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in January last year.
The then president John Mahama regime received several petitions in 2016 against deals entered into by the former COCOBOD CEO but no action was taken.
Former General Secretary of the General Agriculture Workers Union, Kingsley Nkansah claimed the inaction of the past administration was because Dr Opuni had an influence on the former president.
“We did send petitions to the government officials and Office of the President days before we made it public in which we said a lot has gone wrong but nothing happened because Dr Opuni was very powerful,” he told Evans on Joy FM’s Top Story.
But Mr Adams said the former COCOBOD CEO has done nothing wrong to deserve the treatment meted out to him by the current government.
“Why didn’t the Board report any wrongdoing when it approved those contracts?” the NDC Organiser asked, adding the government is hunting for people to blame for its inefficiency.