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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Amajaro ban: COCOBOD is not telling the truth

Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko
Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko
A leading member of the New Patriotic Party and the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute is accusing COCOBOD of being economical with the truth over the lifting of the ban on Amajaro.

Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko told Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoh there are too many coincidences in the running controversy on Amajaro- a controversy which has seen Vice-President John Mahama being accused of wrong doing.

Armajaro, a British Cocoa Trading Company was banned together with three other companies when they were implicated by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas whose undercover investigation revealed illegal smuggling of cocoa to neighbouring countries by the companies.

The ban was however lifted amidst allegations that the Vice-President John Mahama influenced the decision to have the ban lifted.

Whilst Asare Otchere-Darko insists the vice-president's call for CHRAJ's investigation is timely, he said the circumstances under which the ban on Armajaro was lifted raises concern.

“It all started as a scandal in the UK over a business man who is supposed to have paid $60,000 into the parliamentary office of the minister and went back to the same minister to ask him to impress on the presidency of Ghana to lobby for him to get the ban imposed removed,”

“…And then the Vice president, according to his own admission, actually met a UK minister who spoke on behalf of this company and then we come to Ghana a few weeks or so later the ban is removed,” he noted.

In all these, Otchere-Darko said COCOBOD’s position on the matter has been dodgy and cannot be trusted.

According to him the CEO of COCOBOD Anthony Fofie on 27th of April revealed his outfit will not lift the ban because the companies involved have shown no remorse.

On September 28, 2010 Asare Otchere-Darko further noted that the CEO during the announcement of the new producer price of cocoa reiterated the ban was still in place and that there will be a meeting to decide on the future of the companies.

“And then what do we hear, 8 November 2010, COCOBOD releases a statement to say that on that same 28 September, the very day that the Board told the whole country that the ban was still in place that was the very day the Board removed the ban. It is rather bizarre,” he stated.

He said the reasons provided for lifting the ban cannot be supported by their own regulations.

“They (COCOBOD) are certainly not telling the truth,” he said.

But Aide to the Vice-President, John Jinapor said the vice-president should not be dragged into this controversy.

Play the attached audio for excerpts of the interviews 

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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