CTCM needs reorganization for more effectiveness- witness

Reverend Father Emmanuel Okpoti Kofi Oddoye, a witness in the trial of Dr Stephen Opuni and two others, says the Committee for Testing Chemicals and Machines (CTCM) needs to be reorganized to make it more effective.

The witness, who chaired an Adhoc Committee to investigate the testing of Cocoa Nti Fertilizer made a recommendation to the CTCM.

Rev. Father Oddoye said the Committee should put together a document to spell out the steps to be followed in testing chemicals and machines.

Rev Father Oddoye, a subpoenaed witness for Mr Seidu Agongo, was speaking in his evidence led by Mr Benson Nutsukpui, Counsel for Seidu Agongo, a Businessman.

He said the document would ensure that all chemicals and machines went through a standardized test.

Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, willfully 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 GHS300,000.00 self-recognizance bail each.

The former Deputy Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) said at the time of the investigation, the CTCM did not have spelt out steps to be followed in testing chemicals and machines.

He said the recommendation suggested that the CTCM should have a book or a combined methodology that every scientist should follow or be guided by.

The witness said at that time, the methodology used for even the same class of chemicals was found to have deferred.

‘In this regard, they will need to consult CRIG’s biometrician to make sure that the field experiments are properly laid out and analyzed,’ he added.

He said the circumstances surrounding the receipt of Cocoa Nti fertiliser by Dr Alfred Arthur to be tested were the reasons and other evidence that the Committee heard during their sittings that made them come up with such a recommendation.

He explained that it meant that in the case of fertilisers, some samples required
just a laboratory acid analysis, whereas others required a field test in addition.

Rev Oddoye said in Dr Arthur’s submissions, that the initial samples were coming directly to CRIG without reference to COCOBOD.

In the same submissions, he came out that later in 2014, scientists were informed that all requests for testing of chemicals must come from COCOBOD.

He explained that the Committee was trying to correct or recommend that appropriate guidelines be put in place to ensure that all Chemicals and Machines come to CRIG through COCOBOD with the necessary documentation.

‘The new format will ensure that the testing of any Chemical will fit a standardized format,’ he added.

He said they recommended punishment for Dr Arthur who was transferred to the CRIG substation at Bunso, ‘and l suspect he was also suspended but l can’t remember.’

The witness said because of the election general and the change in the governance structure of the country, ‘we were directed to ask to reinstate Dr Arthur to resume work at t
he Soil Science Division at CRIG, Tafo and not at the Bunso Sub-Station.’

He said the directive was issued by Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, a former Deputy Chief Executive of COCOBOD in charge of Agronomy and Quality Control.

Rev Father Oddoye said he was not given an option but was directed to write a letter for him to resume his position.

Source: Ghana News Agency