Opuni trial: Prosecution witness denies knowledge of missing letters

Dr. Stephen Opuni

Mr Alfred Arthur, a Scientist at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) says he was unaware that a committee found out that Oye Hellen Koranteng, a dispatch clerk dispatched a copy of the missing letter to Agricult.

Answering question under cross-examination led by Mr Benson Nutsukpui, lawyer for Mr Seidu Agongo the witness was asked, whether he knew the committee set up by CRIG to investigate the missing letter also found out that a budget and an invoice for the sum of GH¢21, 482.00 was attached to the dispatched letter, but the witness answered in the negative.

Dr Stephen Opuni, the former CEO of COCOBOD and Mr Seidu Agongo, the CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited are facing trial on 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 both pleaded not guilty to the charges and are on a GH¢300,000.00 each self-recognisance bail.

Mr Nutsukpui asked the witness whether he knew what the committee did to his knowledge, the witness answered that the members of the committee came to the Soil Science Division of CRIG to look through the fertilizer files.

“You may not know that the committee found out that a cheque for GH¢21, 482.00 was delivered to Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) by Agricult Ghana Limited,” Mr Nutsukpui asked, but the witness could not confirm that assertion.

He further inquired whether the witness knew that the committee found on the computers of the account section of CRIG copies of invoice number PRIN4062, which was the invoice attached to the missing letter but the scientist said he was unaware.

Mr Nutsukpui suggested to the witness that the Evans Anim Committee found out that the budget and invoice existed on the files of CRIG but the witness said “my Lord l am not aware.”

He added that all the documents were found in the custody of CRIG and attached to the report but the witness said he was not privy to that information.

The Counsel said the disappearance of the letter under the reference number CRIG 39/14 Vol. 196448 was because, the heading on the letter at CRIG also described the product as Liquid Lithovit Fertilizer but the witness said he has not seen such letter.

Mr Nutsukpui said the erasers at CRIG were meant to cover the descriptions of the product as Lithovit Liquid Fertilizer, the witness said he cannot confirm such information.

The trial judge Justice Clemence Honyenugah, an Appeal Court Judge, sitting as an additional High Court Judge then adjourned the trial to Monday, February 18, for continuation.

Source: GNA

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