Massive cocoa spraying chemicals diverted; Police cited in collusion


Luv News investigations have revealed massive diversion of chemicals and other inputs meant for government’s free mass cocoa spraying in the Ashanti Region.

Various collaborators, including persons believed to be security personnel collude to sell the government supplied products on the open market at the expense of poor cocoa farmers.

In the first of a two-part report, Erastus Asare Donkor exposes how police officers shielded alleged perpetrators from prosecution and, in some cases, returned impounded items to the perpetrators.

The mass cocoa spraying exercise introduced by the Kufour Administration under the Cocoa Disease and Pest Control (CODAPEC), placed the supply of items under the supervision of District Chief Executives.

The arrangement, however, is said to have changed when Dr. Stephen Opuni assumed responsibility as Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board.

The CODAPEC Secretariat at the COCOBOD took over distribution.

Chemical brands like Ridomil, Funguran, Cocide, Nordox, Agro Comit, Confidor, Atara, and Akate Master, are forwarded to Chief Farmers for onward delivery to spraying groups for their work.

Many of these chemicals, clearly marked ‘NOT FOR SALE,’ are stolen in large quantities and sold to foreign dealers in Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

In the course of the investigation, Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor met a man who has been named Kwame Ogyam for the purpose of this report.

He has been tracking the illegal sale of cocoa spraying chemicals for years.

He trails the agents, feigns interest in buying the items and informs security agencies to effect arrests.

He has assisted security agencies to seize large consignments of cocoa inputs sold illegally to farmers who are supposed to get them for free.

Through his vigilance, Abuakwa District Police Command headed by Superintendent Joseph Nyaaba raided the residence of one Kwaku Saabeng at Pokukrom near Abuakwa a month ago from where 102 boxes of assorted brands of chemicals were found in his kitchen as well as the bedrooms.

The suspect was unavailable at the time of the operation but his wife, Diana Nuamah, was arrested.

Police estimate the cost of the products at 155,000 cedis.

Ogyam, however, alleged shortly after the seized goods got to the Abuakwa police, he received a call from Supt. Nyaaba seeking his consent to receive a 200 cedi bribe being offered by the suspects.

Ogyam said he refused. He also turned down the police officer’s request to report to the station.

He paid a price for his stance. According to him, the next morning police arrested him and charged him for impersonating the Ashanti Regional Police Commander in the sale of weapons.

My investigations reveal about two years ago, Supt Nyaaba, then Commander of the Police Buffalo Unit , and another policeman, identified only as ‘Bosheba’ led a team to seize cocoa chemicals at a garage at Abuakwa Manhyia.

Kwame Ogyam’s tip-off had led the team to one Kwame Anane’s compound house, three blocks behind a manufacturing facility in the town.

Bosheba and four others discovered about 800 boxes of Atara, Confidor, Akate Master and Ridomil.

Police brought 300 boxes loaded in a van parked in the suspect’s house to the police station under the care of Supt Nyaaba’s but the remaining 500 boxes in the garage of the suspect were left untouched.

Nobody was arrested, and the whereabouts of the items are unknown.

A local journalist who witnessed the seizure at Abuakwa Manhyia corroborated the story.

In some of the cases, reports suggest COCOBOD officials take over the seized items but the outcome of investigation remains unknown.


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