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General News of Monday, 26 March 2018


I’m permitted to prosecute Opuni despite Special Prosecutor - Attorney General

Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo speaking to the media play videoAttorney General, Gloria Akuffo speaking to the media

The Attorney General Gloria Akuffo, has said she has the mandate under the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana to prosecute corrupt public officials in spite of the creation of the office of the Special Prosecutor.

According to her, the Constitution empowers both the Attorney General and the Special Prosecutor to go after corrupt officials, hence there is nothing wrong with her prosecuting the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Stephen Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo.

Dr Opuni and Seidu Agongo are facing 27 charges of willfully causing financial loss of GHS217million to the state, through three separate fertiliser supply contracts between 2014 and 2016.

The contracts were GHS43.1million (2013/2014 cocoa farming season), GHS75.3million (2014/2015 cocoa farming season) and GHS98.9million (2015/2016 cocoa farming season) totalling GHS217million through sole-sourcing, the state claimed, adding that procurement procedures for sole-sourcing were not followed.

According to the charges, the consignments of Lithovit Foliar were produced locally, contrary to an agreement between COCOBOD and AgriCult Ghana Company Limited that it be sourced from Germany.

But Bolga Central MP Isaac Adongo, has said the AG should hand over the case to Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu. The lawmaker said he does not understand why the offices of Ms Akuffo and Mr Amidu are running parallel systems to do the same thing, describing it as a waste of state funds.

“Today we are running parallel systems: Martin Amidu is sitting there and Attorney General is in court doing Martin Amidu’s work. Why waste taxpayers’ money? That is exactly what is happening.

“The Attorney General is roaming there, Martin Amidu is also roaming in the same court on different matters. We are wasting taxpayers’ money. Go and give this case to Martin Amidu,” he told Joy FM.

However, speaking to journalists after the first hearing of the case on Monday, 26 March 2018, Ms Akuffo said: “They said Gloria Akufo is nolle prosequi lawyer and that she is waiting for the special prosecutor. Now I come to court and they have a problem with that, I should have left it to the Special Prosecutor. Certainly not.

“The special persecutor has his mandates, it doesn’t take away the mandate of the Attorney General as a prosecutor. I'm doing this as my mandate under the constitution whether there's a special prosecutor or not.”