Witness in Opuni trial to provide evidence through video link

Dr Stephen Opuni, a former Chief Executive of COCOBOD, intends to call eight witnesses to help in his defence in the ongoing trial involving himself and two others.

Mr Samuel Codjoe, the Counsel for Dr Opuni, prayed the Court that out of the eight witnesses they intended to call, two would have to be subpoenaed and they would need the assistance of the Court.

“We need the Court’s assistance for one particular witness, who has health challenges as a result of that we will pray that his evidence be taken via video link,” he said.

Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, willfully 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-recognizance bail each.

Mrs   Yvonne Attakora-Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), said the use of technology in adjudicating cases had become common.

She said the prosecution had used” these technologies” for their evidence, taking through some of their witnesses, who lived outside the jurisdiction.

“Once a proper arrangement is made, this can be done,” she added.

The Court Presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenuga, a Justice of the Supreme Court, sitting as an additional High Court Judge, said the application to have the intended health-challenged witness through video link was in order.

The Court said the evidence of the intended witness shall be taken after the evidence of Mr Charles Dodoo, the first Defense Witness (DW1).

The Judge urged the Registrar of the Court to take note and do the necessary arrangements with the IT Department of the Judicial Service.

Mr Dodoo in his further evidence- in – chief, told the Court that COCOBOD received a response letter on its request letter for quotation from five companies.

He explained that the quotation letter was to solicit information to help the procurement Unit of COCOBOD to prepare a notification for contract awards.

He further explained that CODAPEC and HITECH Unit of COCOBOD had earlier taken prices from suppliers, which was used to put in an application for approval form the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).

The Defence Witness said Agricult Ghana Limited’s response letter was not the only document received by COCOBOD on February 25, 2014.

He said all companies, who received request letters for quotations from COCOBOD also sent in their response letters, which were like that of Agricult.

The witness tendered the five letters, two from Sidalco Ghana Limited,

One each from Chemico Ghana Limited, Wienco Ghana Limited and Louis Breyfus.

The responses provided by these companies were related to different types of fertilizers being purchased by COCOBOD.

Source: GNA

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