General News of Friday, 16 March 2018
The Minority in Parliament has described the suit against former Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) as a sign of desperation by the State to hold him accountable for his stewardship.
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo has charged Dr Stephen Opuni and one Seidu Agongo with causing financial loss to the State to the tune of GH¢ 217 million.
The trial of the two will begin on March 23.
Speaking to Starr News on the charges, Minority Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Mr Inusah Fuseini said the suit showed an attempt by the government to impugn criminal motive to his service at COCOBOD.
“In all the accounts, you can see clearly that it appears to the Minority that this is a desperate attempt by the NPP government to hold Opuni accountable for his administration in ways that impugn criminal motive over everything that he was doing at COCOBOD.
“Even before the charges came, there have been a consistent attempt to paint Opuni as a dangerous criminal who superintended over the affairs of the COCOBOD to be able to give meaning to the various accusations made against him, they have come out with these charges,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ashanti regional branch of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the charges as a political witch-hunt.
In a statement slamming the government and the Attorney General, the Ashanti region NDC branch said: “While we are not surprised by this development, we are appalled by the exceptional determination of government to destroy the reputation of a man who has laboured to transform the cocoa sector in Ghana.”
It further stressed: “at a time corruption allegations are rife in every sector of this government, the government finds no need to deal with these allegations that are destroying its public integrity and credibility. Sadly, government has resorted to political witch-hunting, vindictiveness and mirage pursuits that would not survive any serious test.”