My recommendation for increase in lithovit fertilizer was upheld by management – witness   

Mr Peter Okyere Boateng, the Seventh Defense Witness in the trial involving Dr Stephen Opuni, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD and two others, says, his recommendation for increase in lithovit fertilizer for farmers was upheld by management.   

He said it was his observations and comments he received from Cocoa farmers, who had applied the lithovit that made the Seven Regional Managers to request the fertilizer from 700,000 litres (about 184920.4 gal) to one million litres. 

“It is my recommendation that was upheld. But as to whether someone is being favoured or not, I cannot speak to it,” he added. 

Dr Opuni and Mr Seidu Agongo, a Businessman are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, wilfully causing financial loss to the State, money laundering, and corruption by a public officer in 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. 

Mr Okyere Boateng, a former Deputy Director of Cocoa Health Extension Division of COCOBOD, was answering questions in a further cross-examination led by Mr Benson Nutsukpui, the Counsel for Agongo. 

Asked, whether per his recommendation to the Management of COCOBD, he was favouring Agongo and his Agri cult Company, the witness answered in the negative. 

“I was doing my official duty as the Deputy Director in Charge of Monitoring and Evaluation, and nobody had influence in my work. Therefore, I was not doing anybody a favour with the recommendation and l do not even know Agongo and his Company at the time,” he added. 

Mr Nutsukpui asked the witness, whether while on the field trip he visited some of the farms that applied granular fertilizers and the witness said, “we visited different farms that applied different types of fertilizers.” 

These different types of fertilizers also include granular fertilizer, so it was true they had inspected or observed farms that applied granular fertilizer.  

He said in his report, he gave the objectives they set for themselves for the field visits, which included looking out for black pod disease problems and caterpillar infestation on the farms.  

The case has been adjourned to November 8, 2023 

Source: GNA 

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