Home / Opuni’s trial: Cocoa Research Institute boss testifies in court

Opuni’s trial: Cocoa Research Institute boss testifies in court

The state brought the Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, Dr. Franklin Manu Amoah as the first prosecution witness in the trial of former COCOBOD CEO, Dr. Steven Opuni, and two others.

Dr. Amoah who is said to have tested the fertilizer bought by Agricult Ghana limited for COCOBOD took the court through the testing processes.

The former Cheif Executive of COCOBOD Steven Opuni is facing over 27 charges over some alleged corrupt practices during his term of office.

He has been sued together with one Seidu Agongo, CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited, beneficiaries of a supposed fraudulent contract worth forty-three million, one hundred and twenty thousand cedis (Ghc43, 120,000). The contract in question spanned the period between 2013 and 2016. Give Opuni missing documents – Court orders investigator

The investigator handling former the case was last week ordered by an Accra High court to furnish Dr. Opuni 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 could not help Dr. Opuni since the documents are not in their possession.

Background

Dr. Opuni and Mr. Seidu Agongo, MD of Agricult Ghana Limited, are facing a total of 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretenses, willfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by the 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 fertilizer 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 fertilizer 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.

 

Source: citinewsroom.com

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