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General News of Thursday, 27 June 2019


Opuni trial: PPA CEO, AG's 3rd witness fail to produce crucial documents

Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, former COCOBOD Chief Executive Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, former COCOBOD Chief Executive

The trial of former COCOBOD Chief Executive, Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo has hit a snag following the failure of the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Mr Agyenim Boateng Adjei to furnish the court with some key documents.

The court, on 12 June 2019 ordered the CEOs of PPA and COCOBOD to furnish it with: 1. all letters written by COCOBOD through Dr Stephen Opuni to the PPA for the approval to sole-source contracts for the procurement of all fertilisers from December 2013 to December 2016; and 2. all letters written by PPA to COCOBOD granting approval to sole-source all fertilisers from December 2013 to December 2016.

The same order was also issued on 20 June 2019 but the PPA CEO failed to comply with the court’s order while the COCOBOD CEO filed his documents on 25 June 2019.

However, in court on Wednesday, 26 June 2019, Mr Sam Codjoe, the lead counsel for Dr Opuni, the first accused person, reminded the court that the third prosecution witness, Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, had also failed to file some crucial attachments to a document he filed in court upon a court order on 12 June 2019.

Mr Codjoe on 20 June 2019 said: “We've been served with the letter dated 5th March 2018 in accordance with the court order. However, this letter, as contained on page 3 has attachments which include the profile of the various companies and other relevant documents. Unfortunately, these were not attached to the letter which was filed by the prosecution. The letter is, therefore, incomplete. We believe it might be an oversight on the part of the prosecution”.

The court further ordered the prosecution to provide the attachments in question to enable Mr Codjoe continue his cross-examination but this was also not complied with as of 26 June 2019.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa expressed the hope that the order will be complied with by the next adjourned date.

In view of the absence of those documents, the High Court presided over by Justice Clemence Hornyenuga on Wednesday ruled that the case be adjourned to 2 July 2019 to enable Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah and the prosecution to file the necessary attachments to enable the case to proceed.

The court also issued a fresh hearing notice to be served on the CEO of PPA to serve as a reminder to his office to file the necessary documents required from that office.

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