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Opuni Trial: CHED has no hand in procurement of agrochemicals 

March 13, 2024
Opuni Trial CHED has no hand in procurement of agrochemicals 

Dr. Francis Baah, former Executive Director of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of , testified that the division played no role in the procurement of agrochemicals, emphasizing its primary function of providing farmer support and education.

Appearing as a subpoenaed witness for Mr Seidu Agongo, a businessman, Dr Baah provided evidence in the trial involving Dr , former Chief Executive of COCOBOD, led by Benson Nutsukpui.

Dr. Opuni and Mr. Agongo face 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, willfully causing financial loss to the State, money laundering, and by a public officer, in contravention of the Public Procurement Act. Both have pleaded not guilty and are on GH¢300,000.00 self-recognizance bail each.

During his testimony, Dr. Baah clarified that CHED was directly under the Office of the Deputy Chief Executive of COCOBOD in charge of Agronomy and Quality Control. He outlined CHED's organizational structure, which included seven Cocoa Regions and 70 Cocoa Districts.

He explained that his role as Executive Director was to ensure the efficient management and operations of CHED, focusing on providing support to farmers as directed by COCOBOD management. Field trips and evaluations were conducted at various levels, from community engagements to national farm visits, to understand and address the challenges facing cocoa farmers.

Dr Baah highlighted the process of discussing field reports at technical meetings with regional managers, with concerns forwarded to the Chief Executive through the Deputy Chief Executive of Agronomy and Quality Control.

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