Prosecution witness in Opuni’s trial completes testimony

Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah, a witness in the case, in which Dr Stephen Opuni, former Chief Executive officer of Ghana COCOBOD and businessman Seidu Agongo are standing trial for alleged procurement breaches in a fertiliser deal has completed his testimony yesterday.

Dr Adu-Ampomah who is the special advisor to the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto denied allegation that he is a card-bearing member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Appearing before Justice Clemence Honyenugah, a Supreme Court judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, the witness admitted during cross-examination that he donated 35 motorbikes to support the governing NPP’s campaign in the Eastern Region.

When Mr Nutifafa Nutsukpui, counsel for Mr Agongo suggested to Dr Adu-Ampomah that his evidence before the court is coloured by his political persuasion, the witness responded in the negative.

He said “My evidence is guided by my being a Ghanaian and, as part of my civic responsibility, if anything is going against Ghana, it is my right to stand against it”.

Dr Adu-Ampomah led the transitional team for COCOBOD that detected some alleged anomalies in contracts awarded under Dr Opuni’s tenure as Chief Executive.

Dr Opuni’s trial has suffered several adjournments as the accused filed different motions at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court to challenge decisions of the trial court.

Two months ago, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court ordered the high court to proceed with the trial of Dr Opuni.

The former COCOBOD boss wanted the apex court to stop the trial judge, Justice Clement Honyenugah, a Supreme Court judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge from hearing the case.

But the court held the view that the decision of Justice Honyenugah to dismiss the stay of proceedings application was supported by law.

In March 2018, the Attorney-General charged Dr Opuni and Agongo with 27 counts for allegedly engaging in illegalities that caused financial loss of GH¢271.3 million to the state and led to the distribution of sub-standard fertiliser to cocoa farmers.

Agongo is alleged to have used fraudulent means to sell sub-standard fertiliser to COCOBOD for onward distribution to cocoa farmers, whilst Dr Opuni is accused of facilitating the act by not allowing Agongo’s products to be tested and certified, as required by law.

The two accused persons have pleaded not guilty to all the 27 charges and are currently on bail in the sum of GH¢300,000 each.


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