General News of Saturday, 28 January 2017
Underground investigation conducted by The Chronicle has revealed the real truth behind the invitation extended to the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Stephen Opuni by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO).
Dr Opuni was subjected to marathon interrogation by the EOCO team, led by its Executive Director, Justice A.Y. Tsar last week Friday, after he honoured their invitation, together with his wife.
Though there were rumours that the former COCOBOD CEO was being probed over the alleged role he played in union matters, this The Chronicle understands is far from the truth.
According to indisputable sources, Dr Opuni is being investigated over the alleged transfer of huge sums of money by the management of the COCOBOD into a private account of one of the top security officials (name withheld) in the immediate past National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
Similarly, the COCOBOD management, headed by Dr. Stephen Opuni, allegedly abrogated a contract for the supply of solar lanterns for the cocoa growing areas.
However, the reason behind this decision by the COCOBOD management is being contested, hence the invitation extended to him in his capacity as the former boss of the state institution to come and answer these charges.
The Chronicle also learnt that some operatives of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) have been driving around the private residence of the Opunis, but we are unable to establish their mission.
Meanwhile, sources within one of the security agencies have hinted The Chronicle that EOCO should not be allowed to probe the ex COCOBOD boss because its Executive Director, Mr. Justice Tsar, is a friend to Dr Opuni.
Though Mr Tsar has not displayed any form of conduct to conclude that he would favour his friend in the investigation, experts insist that EOCO, as a body, must not be allowed to investigate the matter and that where possible, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service should be given the mandate to probe the allegation against COCOBOD management.
Dr Stephen Opuni was relieved of his post on January 13, this year, by President Akufo-Addo.
The letter signed by his Executive Secretary, Nana Asante Bediatuo reads: “In view of the urgency attached to this matter, please ensure that you hand over and cease to act as Chief Executive of Ghana COCOBOD not later than today 5pm on January 13, 2017.”