Former Chief Executive of Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr. Stephen Opuni has rejected all the 27 charges leveled against him by the state.
He told the Accra High court on Monday that he is not guilty of causing financial loss to the state, when he first appeared in court in what is predicted to be a long “political” trial.
He is standing trial together with two others – businessman Seidu Agongo and AgriCult Ghana Company Limited – in GHS217million contracts between 2014 and 2016, in which the state suspects were criminally executed.
Even before the hearing began, many were walked out of the court room because the place was full early in the morning.
There were heavy police presence at the court as crowd started trooping into the court premises. READ MORE
Over 20 lawyers were seen in the court room as well as some former ministers of state and the leadership of the National Democratic Congress, the party which government appointed Dr. Opuni as COCOBOD CEO.
Some party bigwigs spotted there included General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, National Organiser, Kofi Adams, former Attorney General Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong, MP and former deputy AG Dominic Ayine.
Others were former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, former ministers Shirley Ayitey, Felix Ofosu Kwakye, Joseph Yamin, Armah Kofi Buah, Bede Zeideng and a host of others.
The state is represented by a crack team led by the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo, including her deputies Godfred Yeboah Dame, Joseph Dindiok Kpenka, and Chief State Attorney Evelyn Keelson among others.
Dr Stephen Opuni is being represented by Samuel Cudjoe whilst Benson Nutsukpui represents Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited.
Meanwhile, the two pleaded not guilty and have been granted bail to a sum of 300,000 cedis.
They are to submit their passports to the Director General CID and also report themselves to Director General CID anytime they want to travel outside the country, but that has to be after the CID has submitted a report to the registrar of the court.
The case has been adjourned to Wednesday April 11.
Source: 3news.com | Ghana