Most fertilizers purchased by COCOBOD after 2011 were by sole sourcing – Witness

Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, a Special Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture in the trial involving Dr Stephen Opuni and one Seidu Agongo, has confirmed that the total cost of fertilizer purchased by COCOBOD after June, 2011 was $161.6 million.

He also confirmed that all the fertilizers were purchased through sole sourcing.

Dr Adu-Ampomah, who is the third prosecution witness, was speaking during further cross-examination by Mr Samuel Cudjoe, Counsel for Dr Opuni.

Asked, whether COCOBOD had an agreement with Wienco Ghana Limited, Chemico Ghana Limited and Sidalco Ghana Limited for which they supplied all the fertilizers, for which approvals were made, the
witness answered in the affirmative.

Counsel again asked the witness, whether fertilizers supplied by these companies were through sole sourcing, which he agreed, but added that but with the approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).

Mr Cudjoe asked whether, the witness knew that after approval to purchase the fertilizers, it could only be used in the rainy season, but Dr Adu-Ampomah said it was just before the rainy season.

He suggested to the witness that the foliar and granular fertilizers, if they could be applied, it would have to be from the end of April, but the witness disagreed.

The witness said with regard to the follar fertilizer, when applied in the rainy season, the rains would wash them away but the granular fertilizers were applied before the rains.

“So follar fertilizers are applied when there are no rains,” he added.

Mr Cudjoe also suggested to the witness that between February and June 2011, he got approval to purchase fertilizer at a total cost of $46.3 million to purchase Asasewura granular fertilizer from Wienco and also bought Chemico granular Cocoa Feed fertilizer, and the witness confirmed.

“This Asasewura granular fertilizer the details l referred to earlier were purchased after the approval from the PPA in June, 2011,” he asked and the witness agreed.

Mr Cudjoe pointed to the witness that during the same period, he was granted approval for single sourcing and after June 2011, he the witness entered into an agreement with Wienco Ghana Limited in the sum of $52.9 million of which the witness agreed.

Counsel opined that it was the practice that if an approval was given for purchase of agro-chemicals like fertilizer, it would be used for the crops of the following year but the witness said that it was not necessarily so.

He also suggested to the witness that the normal practice in COCOBOD was that it stocks fertilizers for the following year but the witness said not necessarily.

“In 2011, COCOBOD was granted approval to purchase Wienco granular, Asasewura fertilizers all through sole sourcing at the cost of $86.5 million,” the Counsel suggested  of which the witness agreed.

Mr Cudjoe pointed to the witness that in the same year, COCOBOD purchased through sole sourcing, Chemico Cocoa feed fertilizers at the cost of $87.9 million, which the witness again agreed.

Again, the Counsel indicated to the witness that within the same period approvals were made for COCOBOD to purchase Sidalco, K-rich and Sidalco balance fertilizers at a cost of $89.9 million, which was agreed by Dr Adu-Ampomah.

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 both pleaded not guilty to the charges and are on a GH¢300,000.00 each self-recognisance bail.

The case has been adjourned to Wednesday, June 12 for further cross examination.

Source: GNA

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