Dr. Opuni, 2 others charged with abatement of crime, money laundering + 24 other offences

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Former Chief Executive of the Ghana COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni has been sued at the Accra High Court for allegedly causing financial loss to the state.

The State has leveled a total of 27 charges against Dr. Opuni along with Businessman cum Chief Executive Officer of Zeera Group of Companies, Alhaji Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Ltd.

A copy of the writ sited by Peacefmonline shows that the trio are charged with wilfully causing financial loss to the Statedefrauding by false pretencecontravention of the Public Procurement Actcorruption of public officermoney laundering among other various offences.

Per the Particulars of Offence regarding Count One, Mr Opuni, between January 2014 and November 2014, abetted Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Ltd to defraud COCOBOD of the sum of GHC 43,120,000.

According to the suit, Mr. Agongo and Agricult Limited falsely obtained the amount between 2013 and November 2014 by representing COCOBOD to supply Lithovit Follar Fertilizer from Germany for application by farmers on cocoa for the 2013/2014 cocoa season.

The suit said ”Mr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni between November 2014 and November 2015 in Accra in the Greater Accra Region, abeted Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited to defraud Ghana COCOBOD of the sum of Ghc 75, 289, 314.72.”

Stephen Kwabena Opuni on the 10th of October 2014 in Accra, agreed to permit your conduct as the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD to be influenced with an amount of Twenty Five Thousand Ghana Cedis (Ghc25,000) from Seidu Agongo”.

The state in the suit believes that the CEO of COCOBOD “failed to satisfy the prescribed conditions for single-sourced procurement“. The state also concluded that Seidu Agongo and Agricult “sold misbranded fertilizer contrary to section 114(1(b) of the Plants and Fertilizer Act, 2010 (Act 803)“.

Seidu Agongo is also accused of selling “adulterated fertilizer” contrary to section 114(1)(c) of the Plants and Fertilizer Act, 2010 (Act 803).

In fact, the state accuses Seidu Agongo of “manufacturing the fertilizer in commercial quantities without registration“, contrary to the law.

It could be recalled that the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) froze the assets of the COCOBOD CEO as part of its investigations into an alleged scandal involving Dr. Opuni.

He was accused of exploiting and mismanaging the cocoa sector and was relieved of his post on January 12, 2017.

The Republic vrs Dr. Kwabena Opuni’s case is set for hearing on Friday, March 23, 2018.

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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