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General News of Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Opuni allegedly got Scientists to approve harmful chemicals – Report

A COCOBOD investigative report has revealed that former Chief Executive Officer, Dr Stephen Opuni allegedly impressed on Scientists to approve harmful chemicals for release onto the market without due procedure.

The investigative committee found out that officials at the at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) allegedly compromised scientific testing and issued certificates for cocoa fertilizers that had not gone through the full trial process.

Among others, the Committee found out that the chemicals had been diluted with other substances and did not meet the required standard following testing by the University of Ghana and the Ghana Standards Authority.

The Committee further found out that in the case of lithovit produced by Agricult Ghana limited the sample is harmful to human, animals as well as hazardous to water but Dr Opuni in a letter dated 25th February 2014 requested Agricult to give prices for 700,000 litres of the fertilizer when it had not been tested and approved.

He went ahead to sign a contract for the supply of the fertilizers at a cost of $19.25 million in March 2014.

The Attorney General and Minister for Justice Gloria Akuffo last week charged Dr. Stephen Opuni for causing financial loss to the state.

The state has proferred 27 charges against Dr Opuni as well as the Chairman of Zeera Group, Seidu Agongo. The two are said to have benefited from a fraudulent contract worth GHC43,120,000. They are scheduled to appear at the High Court in Accra on Friday, 23rd March 2018 for trial.

Dr. Opuni had his assets including his accounts, frozen by the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), in February 2017.

It would be recalled that the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, late 2017, hinted that former CEO of the board, Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, would appear before court for the several financial malpractices he is alleged to have perpetuated during his tenure of office.