The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has accused former President John Mahama of influencing the construction of an “unnecessary guest house” using funds belonging to COCOBOD.
According to him, the guest house was built in John Mahama’s hometown, Bole for his personal comfort while in office.
Speaking at a press conference to respond to allegations of mismanagement of COCOBOD by the Minority in Parliament, Mr. Boahen Aidoo, said the erstwhile administration of COCOBOD led by Mr. Stephen Opuni, rather misappropriated millions of cocoa funds on frivolous activities.
“The penchant to siphon funds through inflated contracts was rampant in the NDC-Opuni administration through ill-conceived construction contracts in the cocoa sector. These contracts were awarded without proper value for money analysis, bringing into question the motive for the contract for instance, to construct a guest house at Bole in the Northern Region, which was needless at the time it was awarded. President John Mahama was said to have influenced the awarding to enable him enjoy a comfortable holiday during his visit to his constituency,” he said.
He further accused previous COCOBOD management of financial irresponsibility in constructing a new warehouse of lower capacity instead of repairing an existing warehouse with greater storage capacity at a much cheaper cost.
“…the contract to construct a 50,000 metric tonne warehouse at Tema was not considered to be financially and operationally prudent at the time since COCOBOD already had enough warehousing capacity at Tema to sustain its operations into the foreseeable future. The warehouse rehabilitation contract at Abuakwa in Kumasi was not required at the time since the facilities were in excellent working condition. Last but not the least, a whopping US$24 million contract was awarded to demolish excellent staff housing quarters in Tema, only to construct new housing facilities raising several questions about the motive for the award of the contract,” he said.
Mr. Boahene, however revealed that the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) is investigating all financial malfeasance during the tenure of former CEO Dr. Stephen Opuni.