Ouni Trial: Agongo’s company received money from COCOBOD – Witness

Accra Police Detective Chief Inspector, Thomas Prempeh Mercer, the seventh prosecution witness in the trial of Dr Stephen Opuni and others says investigations did not show Seidu Agongo received money from COCOBOD.

He said their investigations did not indicate that Mr Agongo personally received any money from COCOBOD but the money went to his company.

Detective Chief Inspector Prempeh, was answering questions under further cross-examination by Mr Nutifafa Nutsukpui, Counsel for Agongo, the Chief Executive Officer of Agricult Ghana Limited.

Defence counsel asked the investigator, whether as part of the investigations, statements were taken from some staff of the Ghana Standards Authority, of the witness agreed.

He then displayed three statements to ascertain if they were part of those statements, of which the witness agreed.

It was, therefore, tendered in evidence with no objection from any of the other parties.

Mr Nutsukpui again asked the witness whether statements were also obtained from some of the scientists from Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana as part of these investigations, of which the investigator answered in the affirmative.

Asked, whether as part of the investigations, the witness saw any contract signed by Agongo in his personal capacity or on his own behalf with COCOBOD, Mr Prempeh said, the accused being the Chief Executive Officer of Agricult Ghana Limited, at all material times signed for the Company.

Defence counsel asked the witness whether products purchased by COCOBOD from Agricult were duly delivered of which he answered in the affirmative.

Concerning the distribution, the witness said, they interrogated some farmers, who actually used the Lithovit liquid fertilizer and statements obtained from some of them.

He disagreed with defence counsel that there was no complaint from any user or farmer against the Lithovit liquid fertilizer.

Mr Prempeh said statements were obtained from two farmers, one in Koforidua, but defence Counsel stated that there was no such statement in evidence, but the witness disagreed, adding that he could produce those statements from at least two farmers if asked to do so.

Defence counsel pointed to the witness that he never obtained any adverse statements from any farmers regarding the suitability of Lithovit liquid fertilizer as they applied it to their cocoa farms but the witness disagreed.

“My Lord, as far as this investigation is concerned, statements were obtained from two farmers,” he said.

He said one of the farmers stated Lithovit was good but unfortunately the other farmer also described Lithovit as “good as water”.

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 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.

The case was adjourned to March 22, 2021.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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