I cannot confirm that Cocoa Nti and Ominfert fertilizer was procured in 2018 – witness

The Director of Finance at COCOBOD says: “I cannot confirm whether the Board procured Cocoa Nti and Ominfert fertilizers in the 2018.”

Mr Peter Osei Amoako, said he had seen Ominfert and Cocoa Nti being bought by COCOBOD but “the years you are referring to l cannot be sure.”

Mr Amoako was answering questions in a cross-examination in a trial involving Dr Stephen Opuni and two others in Accra.

He confirmed that on the occasion those fertilizers were bought, there was a contract between COCOBOD and the supplier.

Mr Nutifafa Nutsukpui, Counsel for Seidu Agongo, asked the witness that, as a Director of Finance, he possibly might have witnessed the contract between the Board and the supplier and he answered in the affirmative.

The witness told the Court that he could not provide the details of when Ominfert fertilizer was tested, because he was not one of the scientists, who performed the test.

Mr Amoako said as the Director of Finance, he would not be privy to the scientific testing report on Ominfert from the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) but he saw the CRIG certificate attached to the contract.

He said on the bases of the CRIG certificate, he assumed that the scientists worked on the fertilizer, hence the issuance of the certificate.

“I have no problem with the contract between COCOBOD and supplier to purchase the fertilizer,” he said.

He told the Court that he witnessed a contract between COCOBOD and the supplier to procure Cocoa Nti fertilizer but could not tell when the fertilizer was tested.

The witness said CRIG certificate was attached to the contract.

Mr Nutsukpui said document from CRIG indicated that they did not have any records that Cocoa Nti was submitted for testing.

The witness said the Board procured Cocoa Nti in 2018 but per the records, payment for the test was made on March 31, 2016.

The Counsel disagreed with the witness, saying as at November 21, 2016, CRIG said it had no evidence that Coco Nti was previously submitted to the institution.

Asked, when the sample was delivered to CRIG for testing, the witness said, “l am unable to provide the date of submission of the sample but l believe it should be on the same date of payment.”
“There is no such minimum two years testing regime at CRIG,” the Counsel pointed to the witness.

Dr Opuni and Mr Seidu Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, wilfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by a 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 self-recognisance bail each.

The Case is adjourned to December 2, 2020

Source: GNA

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