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General News of Monday, 9 July 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Give Opuni missing documents – Court orders investigator

The investigator handling former COCOBOD Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Stephen Opuni’s case has been ordered by an Accra High court to furnish him and his legal team with some missing documents.

The documents include all letters written by the Public Procurement Authority in connection with Lithovit fertilizer during the tenure of Dr. Opuni, and all fertilizer contracts entered into by COCOBOD from January 2008 to 2018 among others.

The order follows the failure of the Attorney General to make available the documents as ordered by the court.

Chief State Attorney, Evelyn Keelson, told the court that her department cannot help Dr. Opuni since the documents are not in their possession.

Mrs. Keelson further questioned the relevance of some of the documents particularly the ones preceding Dr. Opuni’s tenure.

The judge, Justice Clemence Honyenuga adjourned the case to July 16.

Meanwhile, Spokesperson for Dr. Opuni’s legal team, Victor Adawudu, in an interview with the media said they have no intention of delaying the case.

Furnish Opuni with documents from EOCO – Court orders AG

The court last week ordered the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, to retrieve and furnish Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, with some documents from the Economic and Organised Crimes Office and other state agencies needed for his defense.

The presiding judge gave the order after he was notified of the failure of the state to hand over some documents to the accused persons claiming they were not available at the Attorney General’s office.

Background

Dr. Opuni and Mr. Seidu Agongo, MD of Agricult Ghana Limited, are facing a total of 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretense, willfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by public officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

The state argues that Dr Opuni misled the Public Procurement Authority to approve single-source contracts for Seidu Agongo and Agricult to provide fertilizers at a different cost.

The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, also said Seidu Agongo, acting on behalf of Agricult, submitted fertiliser to the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) for testing.

The prosecution further said investigations established that Seidu Agongo deposited an amount of GHc25,000 into the account of Dr Opuni to influence the award of contracts.

It has also been established that between 2014 and 2016, contrary to law, Seidu Agongo and Agricult manufactured fertiliser in commercial quantities when the Ministry had not registered it for Food and Agriculture.

They pleaded not guilty and had earlier been granted a GH¢ 300,000 each self-recognizance bail by the court