The Attorney General has been ordered by an Accra High Court to within seven days, give former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, Dr. Stpehen Opuni all documents they will rely on as evidence against him in the ongoing trial.
The former COCOBOD CEO and Siedu Agongo who is the CEO of Zeera Group of Companies and Agricult Ghana, are facing 27 charges including willfully causing financial loss to the state in a fertilizer contract worth over GH¢43 million.
The case stalled for about month following an application made by lawyers for Dr. Opuni demanding access to all documents in the possession of the state prosecutors including those that may not be tendered in as evidence, and a subsequent opposition to the request by the Attorney General, forcing the court to put the trial on hold as it awaited a judgement from the Supreme Court on the same matter.
The presiding High Court judge, Justice Honyenuga, after giving today’s order cautioned the lawyers that he would not countenance any needless delays.
The case has been adjourned to July 4 for the trial to continue.
BackgroundDr. Opuni and Mr. Seidu Agongo, MD of Agricult Ghana Limited, are facing a total of 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretense, willfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by public officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
The state argues that Dr Opuni misled the Public Procurement Authority to approve single-source contracts for Seidu Agongo and Agricult to provide fertilisers at a different cost.
The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, also said Seidu Agongo, acting on behalf of Agricult, submitted fertiliser to the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) for testing.
The prosecution further said investigations established that Seidu Agongo deposited an amount of GHc25,000 into the account of Dr Opuni to influence the award of contracts.
It has also been established that between 2014 and 2016, contrary to law, Seidu Agongo and Agricult manufactured fertiliser in commercial quantities when the Ministry had not registered it for Food and Agriculture.
They pleaded not guilty and had earlier been granted a GH¢ 300,000 each self-recognizance bail by the court
By: Fred Djabanor/citinewsroom.com/Ghana