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Lithovit Foliar Fertilizer is a fine powdery product – Witness

Dr Alfred Arthur, a scientist at the Soil Science Division of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) has said Lithovit Foliar Fertilizer has always been a fine powdery product from Germany.

Dr Arthur, a second prosecution witness on Thursday told an Accra High Court that he would be extremely surprised to hear from any other scientist from the Division describing Lithovit Fertilizer as a liquid product.

Dr Arthur was answering questions under cross examination in the trial of Dr Stephen Opuni former Chief Executive Officer of the COCOBOD and Mr Seidu Agongo, also Chief Executive Officer of Agricult Ghana Limited.

Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, wilfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by public officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

They have pleaded not guilty and have been granted a GH¢300,000.00 each self-recognisance bail by the Court.

Mr Samuel Cudjoe, the Counsel for Dr Stephen Opuni told the witness that said Dr Anim Kwapong and Dr Francis Baah, all scientists confirmed that Lithovit fertilizer they knew was liquid and not powdery product but Dr Arthur disagree.

He said the only report at CRIG on Lithovit fertilizer approved by COCOBOD and signed by Dr Opuni on January 21, 2014 clearly described the type of Lithovit fertilizer tested by CRIG and in that report the product has been described as a fine powdery product.

The counsel putting it to the witness said, Mr J. Dogbatse, a Scientist at the Division would have seen the sample of the fertilizer presented for testing, because the store and the laboratory were accessible to all but the witness disagree.

He said the Division has various fertilizers, it was testing and the Scientists responsible for any particular testing goes to the nursery with the field assistants, adding that Mr Dogbatse did not physically see the product during the testing period.

The witness said “my Lord Mr Dogbatse confirmed it at the Adu Ampomah committee on October, 9, 2017 and also at the COCOBOD disciplinary committee chaired by Mr Sefa Clottey, the Director of Legal Services, COCOBOD on February 28, 2018.”

When asked, whether, he knew COCOBOD was granted permission to purchase 100, 000 bags of Cocoa Nti fertilizer worth $3.5 million but he said, he would not know that.

On procurement issues at COCOBOD, the Counsel asked, Dr Arthur, whether he knew the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has a website, where all procurement of fertilizers from COCOBOD was published but the witness said he was not privy to that information.

Mr Cudjoe pointed to the witness that on the PPA website, there was records of a contract to purchase 100, 000 bags of Cocoa Nti fertilizer through sole sourcing but the Scientist said he was not privy to that information.

Mr Cudjoe ended his cross examination of the witness.

The Court presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenugah, an Appeal Court Judge, sitting as an additional High Court Judge adjourned the case to Monday, November 26, for Mr Benson Nutsukpui, the Counsel for Seidu Agongo, the CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited to cross-examination of the witness.

Source: GNA

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