The Public Accounts Committee has cited officials of COCOBOD for perjury.
Officials at the sitting on Thursday told the committee they had retrieved an amount of GHc100,422 from some Licensed Buying Companies (LBC).
Upon further probing, by the Committee it was revealed that this was not the case and COCOBOD did not have some documents to back the so-called payments from the Licensed Buying Companies.
A member of the PAC and MP for Bosomtwe, Simon Osei Mensah said “…because they [COCOBOD] want to hide something, they did not even in the notes, give the breakdown of their trade and another receivable which will give us the license buying companies involved.
And they lied to the committee with the document not even verbal that they fully implemented. Is it perjury or why did you do that?”7 But Deputy Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Miriam Okwabi explained that “the finance department submitted that recoveries have been made from the LBCs involved so management requested for the evidence because obviously, this committee will ask for it.”
“And we’ve been told that they are still going through the processes and the records to retrieve the evidence. Because obviously if they have been recovered from the LBCs like it’s been stated here then we should be able to provide the committee with evidence,” Miriam Okwabi added.
COCOBOD has been subsequently ordered to re-appear before the committee in due course to answer remaining questions on some audit infractions.
Cocobod blows $20,000 on signing ceremony
Prior to the meeting with the PAC, COCOBOD had been cited for spending $20, 000 out of the $1.8 billion syndicated loan for the 2015/2016 crop season, for the renting of a venue for a signing ceremony.
Some members of the Minority caucus in Parliament raised concerns about the utilization of the syndicated loan proceeds for the 2015/2016 crop season.
An amount of $169,000 was also spent as legal fees among other expenditure.
The loan has attracted an interest of $4.1 million from October 2015 to January 2016.
The amount of Ghc570 million for cocoa roads, Ghc380 million for fertilizers, the use of $20,000 for the renting of a venue for a signing ceremony, and $88,000 for legal fees, were aspects of the spreadsheet of COCOBOD that came up for discussion on the floor of the house.