Former COCOBOD CEO, Dr Stephen Opuni and directors of two companies have been accused of playing various roles in the purchase and supply of substandard fertilisers and chemicals for use on cocoa farms nationwide.
A report by a four-member Investigative Committee, set up by the current management of COCOBOD, revealed Dr Opuni pressurised a research scientist testing the products to shorten the process.
The others, including Principal Research Scientist at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) and directors of Agricult Limited and Alive Industries, are said to have aided the ex-COCOBOD CEO to dupe the state.
The revelation comes barely a week after Dr Opuni and CEO of Agricult Ltd, Seidu Agongo were slapped with 27 charges in connection with fertilizer-related contracts.
The two are due to make their first appearance in court this Friday to open their defence.
Having served as the head of COCOBOD, Dr Opuni is said to have compromised the testing trials of four products namely, Akati Power, Duapa Cocoa, Metacide and Lithovit Fertilisers.
“The product was submitted on 24th April, 14 and a report was issued on 13th October 2014, a period of only 6months,” the report said.
Dr Opuni is said to have prevailed on his subordinates to issue certificates clearing the products for use when the scientists were not done with their work.
The Investigative Committee arrived at the findings after interacting with 14 staff of CRIG and poring over several documents.
It has recommended an immediate investigation of the former COCOBOD CEO, and directors of the two companies for roles played in the purchase of the fertilisers.
The committee also says:
(a) The certificates covering the four products namely, Duapa Fertiliser, Akati Power, Lithovit and Metacide should be withdrawn.
(b) CRIG Principal Research Scientist, Alexander Asante Afrifa’s appointment should be terminated forthwith.
(c) Another CRIG Principal Research Scientist, Dr Richard Adu-Acheampong should be suspended for three months.
(d) And contracts for the procurement of Lithovit, Duapa Fertiliser, Akati Power and Metacide should be terminated forthwith.
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 Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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