Bawumia’s Errand Boy Feeds On Opuni Case

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 …To Announce His New Job  

Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri, an errand boy for Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, has waded into the “political trial” of former Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Dr. Stephen Opuni and businessman, Seidu Agongo,, by condemning the people who thronged the court on Monday, to show their solidarity.

Mr. Asigri, who is currently serving as Chief Executive of the National Youth Authority (NYA), used last Monday’s court proceedings to announced his new role and also disclose what he has been doing since his assumption of office.

NYA, is a statutory body established by the Government of Ghana in 1974 by NRCD 241 to co-ordinate and facilitate youth development activities in the country. It has over the years become a packaged parcel to reward party folks.

In his first major statement, the vociferous New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporter in a statement said; “the National Youth Authority expresses deep disappointment over the bussing of youths including teens to the Accra High Court ostensibly to show support in the trial of the former COCOBOD CEO Dr. Stephen Opuni”.

A Joy FM reporter had claimed that an individual at the High Court Complex in Accra, had told him that he and others were bused to the place to support Dr. Opuni.

Asigri claimed “Several engagements have been ongoing and some 3,000 youths with a basic understanding of digital media have been selected for a 12-week NYA training and an ECOBANK job. And so it beats our imagination that while the NYA is selecting youths for jobs, some operatives are selecting them to jump and dance at a trial that is following due process”.

“While youth play important roles in political activism, we must draw the line on what is acceptable, tolerable and downright reprehensible” he said, adding “Using youthful potential as political pawns is belittling, abusive and disgusting.  Within youth circles, the great care and concern over the years have been about jobs and entrepreneurship”.

“We condemn it and urge development-based youth groups raise their voices at the exploitation of their demographic constituency by self-centred political actors”, his statement said.

“This display of teens on TV for 10 cedis is an insult to each of the 16.5million Ghanaians who are under 35 years and constitute the focus of the NYA”, adding “it is about how to engage the youth to apply productive polish to potential”.

The statement said “the NYA has not refrained from condemning acts of hooliganism carried out of youths in the country”, adding “Wrong is wrong and until we begin the cherish right and remain united in pointing it out irrespective of our political persuasions, we risk sacrificing the interest of Ghana”.

An Accra High court on Monday adjourned the case involving Dr. Opuni and Mr. Agongo, to April 11.

Dr Opuni and Mr. 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.

They made their first appearance in court on Monday, March 26. After the hearing, the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo told journalists that: “The judge who is handling the matter is a court of appeal judge who sits as an additional high court judge in the high court.

“What he has done to give an indication is that he wants to hear this matter expeditiously. I think that largely lawyers on both sides have cooperated, we went into chambers and the case has been adjourned to the 11th of April.”

Meanwhile, the two accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the counts of charges preferred against them, including willfully causing financial loss to the state and defrauding the state by false pretences.

They were granted bail.

Dr Opuni was admitted to bail to the sum of GHS 300, 000 and again deposit his passport with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service and again report himself to the CID anytime he wants to travel outside.

Businessman, Mr Agongo and Agricult Company, was also admitted to self-recognisance bail with an amount of GHS 300,000 cedis and he is to deposit his passport with the CID as well.

 

 

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