Pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) pressure group, Action Movement of the NDC, has welcomed the prosecution of former CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Dr Stephen Opuni for causing financial loss to the state.
According to the group, all former government appointees under the NDC administration who have questions to answer as far as their alleged involvement in corruption is concerned must be made to face the full rigours of the law.
The group has, therefore, asked the leadership of the NDC to desist from defending any former Mahama appointee charged with corruption.
Dr Opuni, businessman Seidu Agongo and AgriCult Ghana Company Limited, 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.
Also, the Attorney General claims the fertilisers were manufactured without registration, thereby, flouting the Plants and Fertiliser Act 2010.
According to the state, Dr Opuni also took a bribe of GHS25,000 from Mr Agongo in October 2014 to facilitate the award of one of the contracts by misrepresenting facts to the Public Procurement Authority. The state also said the 2014 contract was awarded without any price quotation.
However, some NDC officials have described the action as a witch-hunt. Bolga Central MP Isaac Adongo, has said the charges smack of political witch-hunt.
In Mr Adongo’s view, the charges preferred against the three accused persons amount to “political vendetta”, adding that there is “nothing legal” about them.
He told Chief Jerry Forson on Accra100.5FM’s Ghana Yensom programme on Monday, 19 March that: “We went through the pain to establish an office of the Special Prosecutor, and, so, he should be in charge of such prosecutions.”
But in a statement, the Action movement said “it is extremely surprised” with the kind of statements Dr Opuni’s prosecution has attracted from the NDC leadership. “Why, was the issue different from the former Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial leader? Is it the case that the former Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial leader is not part of the JM’s?”
The Action Movement said it is “still with the strong view that former appointees are allowed to answer for their stewardship for this country. Competent and honest appointees must be able to happily defend their works. It is not strategic and it is unwise for any leader to rally the NDC party members to defend appointees now when we have party reorganisation on our hands.”
Below is the full statement
PRESS RELEASE FROM NDC ACTION MOVEMENT- 19/03/2018
On the 30th day of August 2017, the Action Movement of the NDC expressed worry about the seeming lack of interest by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to crack the whip on alleged corrupt officials of the erstwhile John Mahama regime.
The Action movement has seen the appointment of Martin Amidu as an action from a bold president who wants to handle corruption in a National sense followed by the sentence of the former National Coordinator of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency on various counts, including willfully causing financial loss to the state.
The Action movement is 100% in agreement with the founder of the NDC when he warned people who have threatened to free the prosecuted former Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial leader when the NDC returns to power. It is true that, such actions will let the NDC remain in opposition for a long time.
The Action movement is extremely surprised with the kind of statement Former COCOBOD CEO, Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni’s prosecution has attracted from the NDC leadership. Why was the issue different from the former Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial leader? Is it the case that the former Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial leader is not part of the JM’s?
The Action Movement is still with the strong view that former appointees are allowed to answer for their stewardship for this country. Competent and honest appointees must be able to happily defend their works. It is not strategic and it is unwise for any leader to rally the NDC party members to defend appointees now when we have Party reorganisation on our hands.
The NDC party is not a court, the NDC party must not carry the cross of any appointee. Appointee’s actions and inactions must not affect the NDC’s 2020 election bid. If the NDC leadership has learnt their lessons well from 2016, they will lead the party to do vigorous branch reorganisation now and ask every appointee to thoroughly defend themselves when invited.
On the issue of President Nana Addo’s posture on handling corruption allegations of his appointees, the Action Movement wants every man who has stolen from this country to be persecuted, but let Nana Addo prosecute who is guilty today in his view and other presidents also prosecute the remaining thieves and we will still have our equation balancing.
The Action Movement wants a country where the corrupt and the thieves themselves will refuse appointments when they are appointed by our presidents as a result of the national approach, we learn to solve this corruption canker.
We are making a strong call to the President to pursue what the electorates voted for – clamp down on corruption. It is only when action is taken in this direction that we can confidently say we are fighting corruption nationally.
Long live the founder
Long live the NDC
Long live the Action Movement – NDC
Kodzo Hamenya Keglo (Spokesperson)