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General News of Friday, 27 November 2020

Source: GNA

Fertilizers are tested for a minimum of two years by CRIG - Witness

Dr Stephen Opuni, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Dr Stephen Opuni, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD)

Mr Peter Osei Amoako, the Director of Finance at COCOBOD, says all fertilizers are tested for a minimum of two years as indicated by scientists.

He told the court that the 2016 contracts for lithovit liquid fertilizer was cancelled because it did not go through the minimum two years testing regime.

Mr Amoako was answering questions in a cross-examination in a trial involving Dr Stephen Opuni and two others in Accra.

Mr Samuel Cudjoe, Counsel for Dr Opuni, showed a scientific report to the witness from the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) that lithovit liquid fertilizer has been tested for 6months could be used on Cocoa trees but the witness disagreed.

He said been the custodian of procurement documents in COCOBOD, he had not seen the contract between the Board and Faskay company limited which was executed on December 14, 2015.

The Counsel asked the witness to identify the person who signed the document and he said it was one Mr Charles T.K Dodoo.

At this stage, Mr Cudjoe told the court, he wanted to tender the document but the prosecution objected to the tendering, saying it was irrelevant to the trial.

Mrs Evelyn Keelson, Chief State Attorney, said the case had to do with the procurement of particular fertilizer which was lithovit from a particular supplier, which was Agricult Ghana limited.

She said it was a contract for the supply of S.O Abapa cocoa fertilizer between Board and Faskay Company limited.
"My document has no bearing on this case and therefore irrelevant to the issues in the case," she said.

She said under section 51 of the Evidence Act, the document was not relevant and same should not be admitted. Mr Cudjoe said the document was very crucial and relevant to their case.

"I believe my learned friend has not gone through the document and especially the pro-forma invoice submitted by the Faskay company limited, it has become very clear that contrary to the assertion of the witness that the procurement letters were just draft, this document was very clear on the face of it that the procurement manager was instructive to 'prepare Public Procurement Authority (PPA) document with appropriate attachment for Chief Executives action'," he said.

He said per the document it was clear that it was not the Chief Executive who prepared the procurement letters.

"My Lord the relevance is that this document concerns procurement and the letters to PPA with respect to procurement of fertilizers in general and therefore very relevant as it shows the course of dealing in COCOBOD," he added.

The Court presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenuga, a Supreme Court Judge, sitting as an additional High Court Judge, overruled the objection and admitted the document in evidence.

The defence also made the witness to identify another contract document between COCOBOD and Olam Ghana limited dated 2016, which was also tender with no objection.

Mr Emmanuel Kumadzi, who held brief for Benson Nutsukpui for A2/A3 asked the witness whether he knew the second accused person but Mr Amoako answered in the negative.

He said in all his dealings at COCOBOD, he had not had any personal encounter with the Accused person.

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