Court admits controversial Opuni fertilizer as evidence despite objections

General News of Monday, 29 October 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

2018-10-29

Former COCOBOD CEO, Dr. Stephen Opuni.

The High Court has admitted into evidence a sample of the controversial fertilizer, lithovit Forlia, which has become a bone of contention between the defense and prosecution team in the ongoing trial of former COCOBOD CEO, Dr. Stephen Opuni.

The fertilizer, which both parties in the case have disagreed on its form, as to whether it is liquid or powdery, was brought before the court by the second prosecution witness in the case Dr. Alfred Arthur.

Dr. Arthur, who is the acting head of soil science division of the Cocoa Research Institute, told the court he was handed a cylindrical container with a green lid which contained the lithovit forlia fertilizer in July 2013, by the then-head of division, Alex Asante Afrifa, to use it to carry out a test on cocoa seedlings of which he wanted to tender in as evidence.

His request was objected to by lawyers of Steven Opuni, who raised doubts about the originality of the container and the substance before the court.

According to them, the claim by the witness could not be true as the container seemed full and not used.

This was rejected by the prosecution led by Director of Public Prosecutions, Yvonne Atakora Oboubisa, who told the court the reasons for the objection was baseless especially as the witness was still giving testimony about what the fertilizer sample was used for.

The court presided over by Justice CJ Honyenuga dismissed the objection describing it as one without merit and admitted the sample of Lithovit Forlia into evidence.

Steven Opuni, together with one Seidu Agongo, CEO of Zeera Group of Companies and Agricult Ghana Limited, beneficiaries of a supposed fraudulent fertilizer supply contract worth GHc43,120,000, were dragged to court by the Attorney General and charged with 27 counts including causing financial loss to the state.

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