Former Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) CEO, Stephen Kwabena Opuni and a businessman, Seidu Agongo, have pleaded not guilty to causing GhȻ271.3 million financial loss to the state.
The two pleaded not guilty to a total of 27 charges ranging from willfully causing financial loss to the state, abetment of fraud, defrauding by false pretense, among other charges
Opuni and Agongo, the Managing Director of agro firm, Agricult Ghana Limited, were dragged to court by the Attorney- General, for allegedly acting illegally in a fertilizer deal that cost COCOBOD the said amount.
The said fertilizer according to the AG, was meant for Cocoa farmers.
Monday’s hearing attracted scores of National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters and many party bigwigs and former government officials.
They include former Chief of Staff; Mr Julius Debrah, former Attorney- General; Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, former Deputy Information Minister, Mr Felix Kwakye -Ofosu, former Deputy Minister of Transport; Ms Joyce Bawa Mogtari, former Fisheries Minister; Ms Sherry Ayitey.
Others are the former Minister of Tourism; Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare, National Organiser of the NDC, Mr Kofi Adams, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah ,among other officials.
The trial is being held at the Accra High Court, presided over by Mr Justice C.J Honyenuga, a Justice of the Court of Appeal with additional responsibility as a High Court judge.
Prosecution is being done by a team of 10 state lawyers led by the Attorney-General, Ms Gloria Akuffo.
Opuni is being represented by Mr Samuel Cudjoe, while Agongo is being represented by Mr Benson Nutsukpui, the President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA).