High Court rejects Dr. Opuni's letter as evidence

| Updated Jul 24, 2018 at 7:11am


Dr. Steven Opuni


An Accra high Court has rejected a letter from the counsel for the first accused person in the ongoing trial of Dr. Steven Opuni and two others.

Samuel Codjoe tendered in court as evidence a test conducted on a different fertilizer, (so Abapa fertilizer).

This was after the director of public prosecution Yvonne Attakora Oboubisa objected to the letter defense counsel wanted to tender saying that having looked at the charges of which the accused persons are before the court, it is centered on Lithovit powdery fertilizer and not So- Abapa fertilizer of which defense counsel wanted to tender as evidence against the prosecution witness, therefore it must not be admitted as evidence.

The Court presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenugah said Upon hearing from both parties it's not relevant for defense counsel to tender any test on a different fertilizer which is not the subject matter.

When asked why he Dr Amoah could not produce documents to prove that Dr Opuni gave the directives for the reduction of the testing period of the Lithovit fertilizer.

He told the court that Dr Opuni during his time in office mostly gave directives orally not only to him but to almost all the scientists involved in the testing.

This he said is why there are no written documents to support his claims.

Counsel then asked why Dr. Opuni did not communicate directly to him if indeed Dr. Opuni made the directive orally, the witness explained that he also found that strange and what made him alert was that the approval from COCOBOD, did not include the fact that Cocobod was not under any obligation to purchase fertilizer from any company, contrary to what is the norm when approvals are given.

Lawyer for the first accused person Samuel Codjoe in his cross examination with the Executive Director of Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, (CRIG) Dr. Franklyn Amoah asked the witness if he personally knows the persons whose names were attached to the testing of Lithovit powdery fertilizer, and how his client came into the picture since he was employed in December 2013 before the fertilizer came to CRIG.

He said Dr. Opuni sent a letter for the test of the fertilizer immediately after assuming office.

He then asked if he Dr Amoah had issued a certificate dated 22nd January ,2014 on the use of Lithovit fertilizer,he said yes but it's on the use of Lithovit powdery fertilizer.

He told the court that the certificate he signed was the use of Lithovit Folia fertilizer.

He added that the certificate was issued based on the test they conducted which contained all the analysis not any other Lithovit fertilizer.

The case has been adjourned to the 10th of October.

Story by Yvonne Asare Offei