COCOBOOD never sent fertilizer samples directly for testing but it was EOCO’s decision, Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, third prosecution witness in the trial of Dr Stephen Opuni, former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD and Seidu Agongo also of Agric told the court in Accra.
COCOBOD had no hand in the decision to send the samples to the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the University of Ghana; COCOBOD only gave EOCO permission to collect the samples from its warehouse and a cover letter for the testing, Mr Adu-Ampomah stated in court on Tuesday.
Dr Adu-Ampomah was answering questions in a further cross-examination by Nutifafa Nutsukpui, Counsel for Seidu Agongo, the CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited, said COCOBOD had never sent fertilizer samples to these institutions for testing.
Mr Nutsukpui asked the witness: seeing that COCOBOD had never sent a sample of fertilizer to the University of Ghana for any kind of analysis, what did you ask them to do; the witness said: “it is to find the efficacy of the fertilizer”.
Asked, whether the witness was aware that GSA conducted a second test after the one he appended his report, the witness answered in the negative.
The Counsel pointed to the witness that the samples COCOBOD sent to EOCO and forwarded to GSA were sent under a covering letter dated April 4, 2017, and was signed by the witness, he agreed but said; “l have signed a letter of that nature but I cannot remember the date”.
The Counsel said the second and third accused that’s Agongo and the company had no hand in selecting those samples sent to EOCO and forwarded to GSA and the University of Ghana, Chemistry Department of which the witness agreed.
The witness explained that EOCO went to COCOBOD warehouse and collected the fertilizer sample and COCOBOD gave them a covering letter.
The Counsel asked the witness, whether it was brought to his attention that when EOCO brought the findings of the test conducted by GSA and UG to the attention of Seidu Agongo and his Company, of which they protested, but the witness disagreed.
Mr Nutsukpui said when the accused protested, the Head of Organized Crime at EOCO led them to the Executive Director, where a discussion was held with you in respect of their protest, but the witness again disagreed.
Counsel said after the discussions, it was agreed that a fresh sample should be collected in the presence of officers of EOCO, COCOBOD and the accused together with the witness but he disagreed that there was any such occurrence.
Asked, whether he was aware a fresh sample was collected from the COCOBOD warehouse, which was sent to the GSA for further testing, the witness said no.
Mr Nutsukpui said the test result on the second sample collected indicated active ingredients of the lithovit fertilizer but the witness said COCOBOD was not aware of that.
The Counsel said in actual fact the conclusion of the first GSA report, was that the sample they have tested was diluted but the witness said it was up to GSA to answer.
Asked, whether, he was disputing the findings of the report, because COCOBOD was not aware of the source of the sample but the witness said COCOBOD did not send any sample to any other testing institution.
Dr Opuni, Agongo and Agricult limited are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, wilfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by public officer and acting in contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
They have pleaded not guilty and have been granted a GH¢300,000.00 self-recognisance bail each by the Court.