Opuni Trial: l am not aware of directives to shorten testing period for fertilizer

Dr Francis Baah, a former Executive Director of Cocoa Health, and Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD, says he was not aware of any directive to shorten the testing period for chemicals?and fertilizers.

He said he did not recall being in any meeting where Dr Stephen Opuni, a former Chief Executive of COCOBOD, gave any such directives for the testing period to be shortened.?

Dr Baah, who was a subpoenaed witness for Mr Seidu Agongo, a Businessman, was answering questions in a cross-examination in a trial involving Dr Opuni, led by Samuel Codjoe, Counsel for Dr Opuni.

Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo, a Businessman are facing 27charges, 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 GHS300,000.00 self-recognizance bail each.

Mr Codjoe told the witness that Dr Franklin Amoah, a former Executive Director of Cocoa Res
earch Institute of Ghana (CRIG) informed the Court in his evidence that Dr Opuni upon resumption of Office issued a directive for the testing period for chemical and fertilizer to be shortened in a meeting.

The Counsel said according to Dr Amoah, in attendance at the said meeting where the directives were given were Dr Baah and Mr James Kofi Kutsoati, the Deputy Chief Executive in Charge of Operations, COCOBOD.

The witness disagreed, saying he did not recall being in that meeting.??

Dr Baah said he could not recall Dr Amoah having any private meetings with Dr Opuni being the Office manager for Dr Opuni.

He said the only meeting he could recall was when Dr Opuni invited Dr Amoah for a discussion regarding bad press about CRIG and his person.

‘Any other private meeting between the two individuals l am not aware of,’ he added.

The witness told the Court presided over by Justice Aboagye Tandoh that when Dr Opuni visited CRIG as part of his working visit, there was an exhibition organised in his honour and h
e met all staff at the recreation centre, where he was introduced to the entire staff.

He said he could not confirm whether there were any separate meetings for the staff and senior managers and scientists as claimed by Dr Amoah.

Dr Baah said, ‘What l can confirm is that the event was held in the open, in front of all scientists and senior managers.’

He said during the Dubar, Dr Opuni did not address any issue with the testing of fertilizer, which would have been unusual.

‘Dr Opuni only addressed the entire staff to work hard and sustain the industry,’ he added. ?The case has been adjourned to Thursday, April 18, 2024

Source: Ghana News Agency