Dr Alfred Arthur, a scientist at the Soil Science Division of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), has said the Division did not re-evaluate fertilizers, agro-chemicals and spraying machines in the 2016 crop season.
He said in 2015 crop season certificates were approved without any re-evaluation of the fertilizers, agro-chemicals and spraying machines.
Dr Arthur was answering questions under cross examination in the trial of Dr Stephen Opuni former Chief Executive Officer of the COCOBOD and Mr Seidu Agongo, also Chief Executive Officer of Agricult Ghana Limited.
Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, wilfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by public officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
They have pleaded not guilty and have been granted a GH¢300,000.00 each self-recognisance bail by the Court.
Mr Benson Nutsukpui, the Counsel for Seidu Agongo, the CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited, who conducted the cross-examination disagreed, saying there was a re-evaluation in 2016 with a report submitted to COCOBOD.
The witness told the court that “l have not sighted any such report, my Lord.”
The Counsel asked the witness, whether he knew there was a letter from CRIG that the 2016 re-evaluation report was forwarded to COCOBOD but Dr Arthur said “My Lord, l have not sighted that report and l do not know when in 2016, the re-evaluation was done.”
On whether all corresponding to COCOBOD were signed by the Executive Director and the Deputies, the witness said not exactly correct because not all correspondence required the signature of these personalities in question.
He said after a report has been vetted by the Committee for Testing Chemicals and Machinery, it becomes of CRIG.
When asked, whether based on his report a certificate was issued to Agriculture Manufacturing Group on Cocoa Nti fertilizer but the witness said if the report was approved by COCOBOD definitely a certificate would be issued to cover the product.
Asked, who assigned the 2016 study on Cocoa Nti to him, the witness responded by saying it was usually done by the Head of the Division, The Court presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenugah, an Appeal Court Judge, sitting as an additional High Court Judge adjourned the case to Monday, December 3, for Mr Nutsukpui to continue his cross-examination of the witness.