Hackman & NPP Witch-hunting Dr. Opuni

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– Ablakwa Reveals CID, BNI, EOCO Harassments

The North Tongu Member of Parliament (MP), Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has said the latest hue and cry over the salary of former COCOBOD Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Stephen Opuni, has confirmed his observation that government was witch-hunting him.

“I think I can now begin to point to some witch-hunt” he said on JOY FM’s Saturday news analysis show Newsfile.

Revelations that the former CEO was on a gross salary of 75,000, has set tongues wagging with what vocal sections of the public, consider excessive and immoral.

Some have expressed shock at a cash trapped cocoa marketing board’s able to shell out the 4-digit figure every month. New Board Chairman, Hackman Owusu Agyeman, has vowed to make drastic cuts in the remuneration package of senior management at the Board.

But for Okudzeto Ablakwa, this fresh attack on Dr. Opuni, is another jigsaw which fits into his theory that the former government official is a target of state-sponsored harassment.

Cataloguing the basis of his complaint, Ablakwa, observed that Dr. Opuni, was the first of several CEOs of state-owned enterprises to be fired, following a change in government.

“He was invited to the Flagstaff House, stayed there virtually the whole day. Then received his letter indicating that, that evening he should vacate post. He was not even given time to go to the office and pack out”. The North Tongu MP said the style of his dismissal attracted condemnation from a respected senior citizen K.B Asante.

Since his humiliating sacking, six days after a new government was inaugurated on January 7, Dr. Opuni, is being hounded by state security apparatus, Okudzeto lamented.

Okudzeto Ablakwa, said Dr. Opuni, has not been told of his crimes or charges and yet “every day, he is facing one probe or the other. If he is not at the CID, he is at BNI, he is at EOCO”.

Opuni is being investigated for fraud, following reports linking him to shady deals and contracts. But the North Tongu MP, stressed if government believes Opuni has a case to answer, it must go according to legal procedure.

The NDC MP, said discussions about the salary of Dr. Opuni, has been skewed to crucify the former CEO. “Did he fix his own Salary, and what was his predecessor receiving? What has been the standard practice” he indicated a more balanced discussion on salaries.

Nonetheless, the North Tongu MP, decried the publishing of the public officer’s salary as unethical and morally wrong.

Okudzeto Ablakwa, associated himself with comments made by former President John Agyekum Kufuor, calling on Ghanaians not to be quick to pass judgment on the former CEO.

Veteran journalist, Kweku Baako, also insisted that Mr. Owusu-Agyeman, goofed when he disclosed Dr. Opuni’s gross salary of GH¢75,000.

Speaking on Multi TV’s Newsfile programme on Saturday, April 1, Mr. Baako, said Mr. Owusu-Agyeman, erred with his disclosure.

“That disclosure, what was the purpose of it? If it’s a serious issue, let’s interrogate it and look at it broadly. Look, let me be honest with you, Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyeman is one of those I have huge respect for; I have to be honest, he’s a gentleman’s gentleman and I have dealt with him over the years and I think he has impeccable integrity but this gaffe, I’m unable to sustain it.

“Board Chairman, you’ve taken over a place, you think, perhaps, salary levels are outrageous and we all know it’s not peculiar to that particular [office], you want to do something about it, you go and do it properly. That disclosure for me was like playing on the keyboard of people’s emotions and reason doesn’t come in when we are discussing such things, only emotions,” Mr. Baako added.

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