Cash for purchase of 10,000 bags of cocoa ends up in the pocket of a district manager

The District Manager of Kuapa Kooko Limited (KKL) at Akontombra in the Western Region, Eric Fiifi Cudjoe, is in the grips of the Police for allegedly embezzling GH¢4,850,700, belonging to the company.

The amount he is alleged to have expended was meant for the purchase of 10,212 bags of cocoa beans.

Following his arrest, thousands of cocoa farmers from all the cocoa growing regions in Ghana have commended the new management and Board of Directors of Kuapa Kooko Limited (KKL), and Kuapa Union for their strenuous efforts at protecting the farmers hard earned holdings.

In the view of the farmers, never in their lifetime have they heard and seen such seriousness in their leaders, noting that such moves are reassuring and gives them hope for a brighter future.

It would be recalled that the District Manager of KKL at Akontombra in the Western Region, Eric Fiifi Cudjoe, was handed over to the Police for allegedly embezzling GH¢4,850,700, belonging to the company.

Cudjoe was on April 6, 2018, remanded into Police custody, at the instance of the Ejisu-Juaben Circuit Court, presided over by Abdul Yusuf Assibey.

The Akontombra District Manager was arrested by the Ashanti Regional Police Command and subsequently arraigned before court for fraudulent breach of trust following a complaint lodged by the new Managing Director of KKL, Mr. Samuel Adimado, for failing to purchase 10,212 bags of cocoa beans with the said amount of money.

The money, according to the Managing Director of KKL, was transferred through the ARB APEX Bank in Kumasi into the account of Cudjoe at the Amenfi Rural Bank Limited between September 2017 and February 2018.

The accused though a relative of the President of Kuapa Kooko Cooperative Farmers and Marketing Union Limited (KKFU) the parent company of KKL was not spared at all.
It is reported that the president equally was shocked at the revelation and demands that the law takes its course.

Cudjoe, we are told, has on numerous occasions presented false reports to the company concerning the purchases of the cocoa beans.

Furthermore, most cocoa farmers who are overwhelmed by the situation looking at the relationship between Cudjoe and the President of KKFU, told the media that the bold action taken by their leaders including the President and the Board irrespective of blood relations to stump out corruption has renewed their fate and confidence in their leaders. We were overly excited at her insistence that the said amount be retrieved at all cost.

“We are so amazed and pleasantly surprised about the courageous manner our lady leader and the management have taken to deal with the issue in a dispassionate manner devoid of fear and intimidation. This is worth commending. Initially we had doubts because in Ghana, when a relative of someone in high rank position does something wrong, they treat that person with kids gloves but management has blazed a new trail; proving us wrong.

Their action is so reassuring that, in them we see a better future for Kuapa Kooko. We now are confident that our little contributions accrued over the years will not go waste”, Agya Kwasi, a cocoa farmer in the Sefwi Akontombra area said.

“Now we the farmers are very confident and our trust have been boosted by the action of management. We want to thank them all for not allowing one person to embezzle that huge amount of money at our expense. This goes to prove that nobody can take us for a ride”, noted Adwoa Adoma, another cocoa farmer at Ankaase in the Ashanti Region.

Mr. Appian Kwateng, member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) commenting on the issue lauded the Board and Directors as well as management of KKL for showing the way forward in handling such a dicey situation.

He lauded the cooperative efforts of the President of KKFU in dealing with the situation.
“What even amazes me is the fact that our President has never interfered in the process. She has really demonstrated that she does not condone corruption”, he noted.

Mr. Sampson Cobbina, Board Member, KKL, on his part told the paper that their action should send a signal to the rest of the staff of KKL that they meant business and will not shield anyone from wrongdoing.

He said the Board has resolved to give all their support to management to stump out corruption from the company.

The Managing Director of KKL, Mr. Adimado, when contacted over the situation said his outfit is going to deplore electronic systems into their operations to tract “everything that goes on in the company” to boost confidence in their stakeholders.
“When we do this, it will be very difficult for anybody to steal from the company”, he noted.