Dr. Stephen Opuni charged with defrauding the State in various sums amounting to GHS₵217 million

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Dr. Stephen Opuni

Former Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board, COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Opuni has been charged with various offenses involving an amount of GHS₵217,345,289.

Dr. Stephen Opuni together with one businessman Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited, have been charged with twenty-seven counts of offences including defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the state.

Six counts out of the 27 are in respect of abetment and defrauding by false pretence in various sums amounting to GHS₵217,345,289 and six other counts are for conspiring and willfully causing financial loss to the state in the same amount. Also, eight counts involve offenses relating to contravention of the Public Procurement Act 2003, Act 663.

Additionally, Dr. Stephen Opuni and Seidu Agongo have been charged with three counts of money laundering contrary to the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2008, Act 749.

Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited have on the same charge sheet been charged with selling misbranded fertilizer contrary to section 114(1)(b) of the Plants and Fertilizer Act 2010(Act 803) and selling adulterated fertilizer.

The case will be heard on Friday, March 23, 2018, at the Accra High Court.

In February 2017, the Economic and Organised Crimes Office, EOCO, froze the assets of Dr. Stephen Opuni as part of investigations into his tenure as CEO of COCOBOD.

The NPP government after taking over the administration of the country terminated the contract of Dr. Stephen Opuni for alleged misappropriations.

Dr. Opuni, appointed on November 30, 2013, to head COCOBOD, is alleged to have mismanaged the cocoa sector during his four-year tenure.

The former Chief Executive of the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority was relieved of his post on January 12, 2017, and appointed to Cocobod.

www.primenewsghana.com/ Ghana News