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COCOBOD under Dr Opuni bought untested fertilisers - Witness

By Clement Edward Kumsah

A prosecution witness in the trial of the former CEO of COCOBOD, Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, has disclosed that COCOBOD under Dr Opuni bought untested fertiliser 

According to Dr Franklin Manu Amoah, the Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), the controversial fertiliser which gave rise to the court case was not tested by CRIG.

He told the court that CRIG was the body mandated to test all chemicals, fertilisers and machinery that were used for the production of cocoa, kola, sheanut and cashew.

CRIG, the witness explained, was instructed by COCOBOD to test the efficacy of Lithovit Foliar Fertiliser (LFF), which was powdery in nature, but COCOBOD ended up buying a liquid LFF.

“The liquid Lithovit Foliar Fertiliser being talked about has already been dissolved and we don’t know the nutrient contents since we did not test it. There is no guarantee that the liquid fertiliser is the same as the powdery fertiliser that we tested,’’ he said.

Earlier, Dr Amoah told the court that he went on compulsory retirement in August 2015, but was given a contract by the government in February 2017 to assume his former position as the Executive Director of CRIG.

He also told the court that he was part of the team that worked on COCOBOD issues during the transitional period after the 2016 general election.

The statement, however, formed the basis of the cross-examination by Dr Opuni’s lawyer, Mr Samuel Cudjoe.

Below are excerpts of the cross-examination:

Mr Cudjoe: I will be right in stating that you were on retirement in 2016, but was called back and offered a contract

Dr Amoah: Yes

Mr Cudjoe: What is the length of your contract?

Dr Amoah: It ends on August 31, 2018.

Mr Cudjoe: So it is for two years.

Dr Amoah: Not for two years. It started in February 2017 so it is for one year 7 months

Mr Cudjoe: Prior to being given the contract, you were part of the transitional team on COCOBOD in Dec, 2016 and Jan 2017 ?

Dr Amoah: Yes

The cross-examination will continue on July 23, 2018.

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