Close this search box.

Opuni Trial: l trusted the professionalism and integrity of the Committee for Testing Chemicals-Witness

Dr Anin Kwapong, a former Executive Director of Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), says he trusted the professionalism and integrity of the Committee for Testing Chemicals and Machines, which tested the lithovit fertilizer.

He said because of that trust, he signed the certificate issued by the Committee without seeing the report prepared by them.

Dr Kwapong, who is a defence witness in a cross examination in the trial involving Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, a former Chief Executive of COCOBOD and Seidu Agongo, a businessman, said all he needed to do was to call for the letter that granted the permission for the certificate to be issued.

Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo, a Businessman and CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited, are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, wailfully 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-recog
nizance bail, each.

Mrs Evelyn Keelson, Chief State Attorney, suggested to the witness that the certificate he signed could not be an original certificate for the lithovit fertilizer, but Dr Kwapong said it was not correct, insisting that the Counsel did not understand how certificates were issued.

The prosecution said the certificate was signed by the witness without recourse to any test report issued by CRIG and approved by COCOBOD, but the witness disagreed.

The witness explained that the certificates were issued by the Committee, which he signed, and that the test report used was shown to him in open court.

Mrs Keelson said because the certificate was not based on the test conducted on the original sample of lithovit, which was submitted for testing by Dr Opuni, that was why the certificate signed had five per cent Urea, a chemical which was not found in the test conducted by CRIG, but the witness disagreed.

The prosecution said the certificate the witness signed was only an afterthought aimed at jus
tifying the procurement of the lithovit liquid fertilizer by COCOBOD, which was not tested by CRIG and approved by the Board, but the witness disagreed.

Mrs Keelson suggested that he had no capacity to question the Material Safety Data Sheet and the report because the witness had not conducted any test on lithovit, but Dr Kwapong disagreed.

He told the court presided over by Justice Aboagye Tandoh that he had been trained as a research scientist with a terminal degree of PhD.

‘l have led several research and have capacity to understand each one of them. l have reviewed research papers, which were published in international journals.’

Source: Ghana News Agency