Monday, 17 June

'It seems we're not being heard but only being pushed through the motions' - Opuni, Agongo lawyers fume at judge's 'sinful, worrying' 4-hour cross-examination restriction

General News
Dr Stephen Opuni

The presiding judge in the trial of former COCOBOD boss and two others, Justice Aboagye Tandoh ruffled feathers of defence lawyers on Monday, May 27, 2024, when he gave marching orders which lawyers have described as a sin against fair trial.

This was during the testimony of Rev. Dr. Emmanuel O. Oddoye, a former Deputy Executive Director at CRIG and once the Chairman of the Committee for Testing Chemicals and Machines (CTCM) who was once demoted due to matters relating to this trial, and now into full time ministry as Anglican Priest after his retirement in June 2021.

The lawyers who were visibly fuming with anger, appeared upset after the judge asked counsel for the second and third accused to end his examination in chief of his witness, and subsequently ordering the lawyer for the other accused person to conduct his cross examination of the key witness within four hours.

The former COCOBOD Chief Executive, Dr. Stephen Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo as well as Agricult Ghana Limited, have been facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, willfully causing financial loss to the state, corruption by public officers and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

Justice Aboagye Tandoh took over the case from Justice Kwesi Anokye Gyimah after the latter was transferred to Kumasi when he decided to start the trial afresh in June 2023. Justice Tandoh, previously with the High Court in Winneba in the Central Region, took the mantle and adopted the proceedings of Justice Clemence Honyenuga who retired as a Supreme Court judge after years of sitting on the case with additional responsibility as a High Court judge.

After the prosecution and the first accused had closed their cases, Seidu Agongo, who is the third accused person, opened his case in February 2024 with his fourth witness, Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Oddoye in the witness box.

After three days of leading his examination in chief of the witness, Mr. Benson Nutsukpui, counsel for the second and third accused persons, was told by the trial judge that he would be given one hour more to conclude with the fourth witness.

However, with new and interesting revelations emerging, counsel was doing some few more minutes beyond the one hour limit, much to the chagrin of Justice Aboagye Tandoh who stepped in and ordered lawyer Nutsukpui to ask one question and end his examination in chief.

Benson Nutsukpui protested and requested that the court’s record be captured that he was forced to end his evidence-in-chief, and not that he had finished.

“My Lord let the record reflect that whilst I was leading my evidence in chief, the honourable court stopped me from leading my evidence in chief, and I was bound to comply. I had made it clear that I have not completed my evidence in chief,” he asserted.

Justice Aboagye Tandoh then asked counsel for Dr. Opuni, lawyer Samuel Codjoe to start his cross-examination. He was asked to spend a maximum of four hours cumulatively to conclude that, with the same directive going for the prosecution.

But counsel Codjoe would not allow this order to slip through without objection. 

“I refer to your order that you are giving us four hours to cross-examine this witness who is a very crucial witness without even hearing counsel ask the first question. I wish to draw your lordship’s attention to constitutional provision that is article 19(2)(e) on fair trial which states we would be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation of our defence. Article 19(2)(g) of  the constitution ‘be afforded facilities to examine, in person or by his lawyer, the witnesses called by the prosecution before the court, and to obtain the attendance and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on the same conditions as those applicable to witnesses called by the prosecution’.

“If you adopted proceedings in this Court as you did, then your Lordship would have adopted all orders made by the previous judge and nowhere were the prosecution limited with respect to time to examine by the witnesses.”

Mr Samuel Codjoe reminded the court that the liberty of his client is at stake and therefore any sin against his right must be avoided.

“It is our submission that by limiting us to four hours, irrespective of what will happen in Court, it is as if the Court is going through the rituals of the trial and we would reiterate that this being a criminal trial for which accused if found guilty will suffer one of the harshest punishment which can lead to depravation of personal liberty, four hours by your lordship to cross-examine a very important witness like this is inadequate and sins against our right to fair trial.  We pray that you review this order, which is against the principle of fair trial.”

Lawyer Benson Nutsukpui also added his voice: “The history, nature and nuance of this case make us worry when it appears that we are not being heard but only being push through the motions. It is important for accused persons to be confident that they are being tried and not only push through the motions.”

But, the prosecution represented by Principal State Attorney Stella Ohene Appiah was content with the directive of the court.

Her position, however, did not come as a surprise to observers who have been following the case in court. This is because the prosecution, alternatively led by Stella Appiah and Chief State Attorney Evelyn Keelson since 2024, have not exceeded four hours in any of their cross examination of the witnesses called so far.

Therefore, for the prosecution, the court has been magnanimous in its orders.

“Respectfully, it is the duty of the Court to exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence before the Court. Section 69 of the Evidence Act gives the Court that authority. Counsel for 2nd and 3rd accused persons by the record should have ended his evidence in chief last Wednesday, which was 22nd May 2024. 

“The Court magnanimously granted him an hour extension for him to conclude this evidence in chief today. He had exceeded the one hour grace period given to him by the Court. The Court has every right in bringing counsel’s examination in chief to an end after reminding him of exceeding his allotted times on two occasions.”

Shocked by her demeanour and posture, counsel Codjoe and Nutsukpui exclaimed eiii in response to the opposition.

Unperturbed, Stella Appiah retorted, "That is why you have to ask your relevant questions first." 

“Really, you want to show us how to conduct our case”, Codjoe enquired, “when did you join the bar?”

Without looking at Codjoe's directions, she threw her hand about countered, "Does age matter?"

The presiding judge, Justice Aboagye Tandoh then ruled: “Indeed, this Court has always given adequate and sufficient time and facilities to the parties to put their case across at all times and had not in any way acted contrary to that. 

“This Court has duly complied with section 69 of Evidence Act (NRCD 323) and not just by taking the parties through the motion. The four hours of cross-examination given to the 1st accused, and the prosecution will remain until the court is otherwise direct.”

Mr Samuel Codjoe had no choice but to start his cross-examination of Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Oddoye. 

 

He did a little over one-and-half hours before the court adjourned sitting to Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

 

Below are deatils of the transcript from proceedings in court:

 

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE, IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE (LAND COURT ‘2’) HELD IN ACCRA ON MONDAY THE 27TH   DAY OF MAY 2024, BEFORE HIS LORDSHIP ABOAGYE TANDOH, JUSTICE OF THE HIGH COURT

 

SUIT NO. CR/158/2018

THE REPUBLIC

                                               

VRS.

 

1.        STEPHEN KWABENA OPUNI                            -        1ST ACCUSED   

2.        SEIDU AGONGO                                                 -        2ND ACCUSED   

3.        AGRICULT GHANA LTD.                                  -        3RD ACCUSED

__________________________________________________________________

 

TIME: 10:53 A.M.

 

1ST ACCUSED PRESENT.

2ND ACCUSED PRESENT AND REPRESENTS 3RD ACCUSED.

 

STELLA OHENE APPIAH (PSA)   WITH ENAM LOH-MENSAH (SA), YVONNE YAACHE-ADOMAKO (ASA) AND RUTH DABI (ASA) FOR THE REPUBLIC.

 

SAMUEL CODJOE WITH YAYAH BRIMAH FOR 1ST ACCUSED PRESENT.

 

BENSON NUTSUKPUI WITH JOEL ANNOR-AFARI AND JEMIMA DEI FOR 2ND 3RD ACCUSED PRESENT.

 

WITNESSES FOR 2ND AND 3RD ACCUSED PERSONS

 

FURTHER EVIDENCE-IN-CHIEF OF DW4/A2 AND A3 (REV. CANON DR. E. O. ODDOYE)

 

                   WITNESS REMINDED OF HIS FORMER OATH   

 

Q:               We were on the committee that you chaired at CRIG to investigate the testing of Cocoa Nti Fertilizer by Enapa. Do you remember that?                       

                  

A:               I do remember.

                  

Q:               Please take Exhibit 18 and you have attached to the forwarding letter the report of the Adhoc Committee. That is correct?

                  

A:               That is correct.

 

Q:               If you turn to page 4 of that report, the number 4, your committee made recommendations that would be “appropriate measures to forestall any future occurrences”. Do you see that there?

                  

A:               I do.

 

Q:               If you turn to the next page, what is the second recommendation that your committee made to forestall any future occurrence.

                  

A:               Recommendation number 2 “the CTCM will need to be reorganised to make it more effective. They should put together a document to clearly spell out the steps to be followed in testing chemicals and machines. In this regard they will need to consult the Institute’s Biometrician to make sure that the field experiments are properly laid out and analysed”.  

                            

Q:               What occasioned the thinking of the committee that “the CTCM would need to be reorganised to become more effective”.

                  

A:               The circumstances surrounding the receipt of Cocoa Nti fertilizer by Dr. Arthur and other evidence that the committee heard during their sittings  made them come up with such a recommendation.

 

Q:               You chaired that committee?   

                  

A:               I did.

 

Q:               Is there any reason why is not “us” but “them”?

                  

A:               As counsel has pointed out I chaired the committee so the word “us” rather than “them” would be more appropriate.

                  

Q:               That same 2 the second point that is “they should put together a document to clearly spell out the steps to be followed in testing chemicals and machines”. What may have occasioned the thinking behind this statement?

                  

A:               As at the time of the investigation the CTCM did not have such a document.

 

Q:               What is that recommendation supposed to correct?

                  

A:               The recommendation suggests that the CTCM should have a book or a combine methodology that every scientist will follow and be guided by.

 

Q:               Why was there the need for that book with combined methodology which must be followed by every scientist when testing chemicals and machines?

                  

A:               As at that time the methodology used even for the same class of chemicals for example fertilizers were found to differ.

                  

Q:               If you would explain what you just said in more simpler terms.

                  

A:               In the particular case of fertilizers some samples require just a laboratory analysis whereas others require a field test in addition.

 

Q:               Ultimately what will that recommendation of putting together the document spelling out the methodology do to the testing of chemicals and machines?

                  

A:               The document would ensure that all chemicals and machines go through a standardized test.

 

Q:               Have you ever heard of the word “uniform”?

                  

A:               I had.

                  

Q:               Do they have any relevance to the recommendation?

                  

A:               To have standardized testing would also mean uniformity of testing.

 

Q:               What is the date on that document?

                  

A:               The document itself does not have a date but the covering letter is dated 6th November 2016.

 

Q:               Prior to the 6th November 2016, what you recommended and the explanation you just given in Court was that operational at CRIG?

                  

A:               No.

                            

Q:               Please read your third appropriate measure to the Court.

                  

A:               “The CTCM will have to designate a trained person to receive these chemicals and machines noting the condition at the time of receipt. This will include missing parts, torn bags etc.”

 

Q:               Kindly tell this Court what occasioned the thinking in respect of this appropriate measure?    

                  

A:               The investigation discovered that chemicals and machines had sometimes arrived at CRIG in torn sample bags with parts missing and without the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

 

Q:               Indeed, Dr. Alfred Arthur in his answers to questions in that committee told the committee that there was no laid down procedure for receiving chemicals and machines by the scientist. Page 18 of your report. Have you seen it?

                  

A:               Yes.

                  

Q:               He did?

                  

A:               In Dr. Alfred Arthur’s submission he points out that initially samples were coming directly to CRIG without recourse to Cocobod. In the same submission however he points out that later in 2014 scientists had been informed that all requests for testing of chemicals must come from Cocobod.

 

Q:               If you go back to appropriate measure two, what was your committee trying to correct?

                  

A:               The committee was recommending that appropriate guidelines be put in place to ensure that all chemicals and machines come to CRIG through Cocobod with the requisite documentation.

 

Q:               What was the appropriate measure five of the committee?

                  

A:               “The report on any chemical or machine should include one page executive summary highlighting the results and conclusions and also a page in which details of the dates on which the chemical/ machine was received for testing and a chronology of subsequent activity involve in testing the chemical/ machine. A copy of the letter forwarding the chemical/ machine to CRIG should also be included”.

                  

Q:               Also a page in which details of the dates on which the chemical/ machine was received for testing and a chronology of subsequent activity involve in testing the chemical/ machine.  What occasioned that appropriate measure?

 

A:               Investigation reveal that an unnamed fertilizer had been received by Dr. Arthur in 2013 without any official documentation.

 

Q:               What informed that second part of the recommendation that it must include a page on which the chemical was received and a page indicating the activities that were followed in the testing of the chemical or machine.  

                  

A:               The committee realised that it would be necessary for the CTCM to know when the chemical or machine arrived and also that it had gone through the required testing during a time period that had been specified.

 

Q:               Prior to the 6th November 2016 when this report was sent to Cocobod, scientists at CRIG were writing report.                

                  

A:               Yes.

                  

Q:               Those reports that the scientists were writing reports, were they in accordance with the committee’s proposed format or different.

                  

A:               They were different.

 

Q:               What would the new format bring out which was not in existent before?

                  

A:               The proposed format would ensure that a report on the testing of any chemical or machine would fit a standardized format.

 

Q:               At the end of the investigation and the report to Cocobod, the investigation under reference in Exhibit 18 and it forwarding to Cocobod, your committee on page 6, recommendation 2 towards the last part made recommendations on the appropriate measures to be taken against the scientists.

                  

A:               That is correct.

                            

Q:               What was the recommendations?

                  

A:               The committee recommended that being a first time offender, Dr. Arthur should be given a strongly worded warning letter.       

 

Q:               What was the recommended punishment from Cocobod to Dr. Alfred Arthur?         

                  

A:               I can remember for a fact that he was transferred from the Head Office Akyem Tafo to CRIG substation at Bunso. I suspect he may have been suspended as well but I am not sure.

 

Q:               This was in which year? 

                  

A:               2014.

                  

Q:               You wrote and signed Exhibit 14.

                  

A:               That is correct.

 

Q:               Is dated 22nd March 2017.

                  

A:               That is correct.

 

Q:               What is the content of that letter?

                  

A:               In the letter I requested Dr. Arthur to resume work at the Soil Science Division after the expiration of his suspension.

                  

Q:               You referred to his suspension letter dated 20th December 2016.

                  

A:               That is so.

 

Q:               How did you come to write this letter?

                  

A:               There were general elections in this country in December 2016 as a result of which the governance of the country changed. We were directed to ask Dr. Alfred Arthur to resume work at the Soil Science Division and not at Bunso Sub-station.

 

Q:               Who directed you?

                  

A:               We were directed by DCE, Agronomy and Quality Control, Cocobod.

                  

Q:               And who in person was the occupant in that position of 22nd March 2017.

                  

A:               The occupant of that position was Dr. Yaw Adu Ampomah.

 

Q:               You said Soil Science Division at where?

                  

A:               Soil Science Division is at Akyem Tafo.     

 

Q:               This Exhibit 14 where was it initiated from Tafo or Cocobod.

                  

A:               Exhibit 14 was written at CRIG but on the advice on the then DCE, Agronomy and Quality Control, Dr. Yaw Adu Ampomah.

                            

Q:               What is the difference between advice and instructions?

                  

A:               There is a very thin line but normally I would understand advice as a conversation including telephone calls in which certain actions are suggested but when it comes to instructions usually they are put on paper for avoidance of doubt.

 

Q:               In the case of advice, do you have the option to say yes or no.   

                  

A:               Yes. Usually it is a discussion or a bunter so if you have alternate views you would usually proffer them and explain why.

 

Q:               In writing Exhibit 14, kindly tell this Court if you had an option to say no, Dr. Alfred Arthur  should remain at Bunso or not?

                  

A:               I was not given an option.

                  

Q:               Do you still consider it as an advice, if you did not have an option?

                  

A:               Considering the way counsel has put it, I think it was an instruction. May I also say that at the time my immediate superior the then Executive Director, Cocoa Research Dr. Anim Kwapong had also been transferred to Cocobod, Accra and Dr. Amoah had become Executive Director in his place.

 

BY COURT:        End for evidence in chief of DW4/A2 AND A3 … and having considered evidence adduced …….

 

COUNSEL FOR 2ND AND 3RD ACCUSED:    My Lord, let the records reflect that whilst I was leading my evidence in chief, the Court stopped me from leading the evidence in chief but I was bound to comply but I made it clear that I have not finish the evidence in chief.

 

COUNSEL FOR 1ST ACCUSED:   I refer to your order that you are giving us four hours to cross-examining this witness who is a very crucial witness without even hearing counsel ask the first question. I wish to draw your lordship’s attention to constitutional provision that is article 19(2)(e) on fair trial which states we would be given adequate time and facilities for the preparation. Article 19(2)(g) of  the constitution (counsel reads). If you adopted proceedings in this Court as you did, then your Lordship would have adopted all orders made by the previous judge and nowhere were the prosecution limited with respect to time to examine by the witnesses. It is our submission that by limiting us to four hours irrespective of what will happen in Court, it is as if the Court is going to the rituals of the trial and we would reiterate that this being a criminal trial for which accused if found guilty will suffer one of the harshest punishment. Four hours to cross-examine a very important witness like this is inadequate and sins against our right to fair trial.  We pray that you review this order which is against the principle of fair trial.

 

COUNSEL FOR 2ND AND 3RD ACCUSED:    The history, nature and nuance of this case make us worry when it appears that we are not being heard but only being push through the motion. It is important for accused persons to be confident that they are being tried and not only push through the motion.

 

COUNSEL FOR REPUBLIC:         Respectfully, it is the duty of the Court   to exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence before the Court. Section 69 of the Evidence Act gives the Court that authority. Counsel for 2nd and 3rd accused persons by the record should have ended his evidence in chief last Wednesday which was 22nd May 2024. The Court magnanimously granted him an hour extension for him to conclude this evidence in chief today. He had exceeded the one hour grace period given to him by the Court. The Court has every right in bring counsel’s examination in chief to an end after reminding him of exceeding his allotted times on two occasions.

 

BY COURT:        Indeed, this Court has always given adequate and sufficient time and facilities to the parties to put their case across at all times and had not in any way acted contrary to that.

 

This Court has duly complied with section 69 of Evidence Act (NRCD 323) and not just by taking the parties through the motion.

 

The four hours of cross-examination given to the 1st accused and the prosecution will remain until the Court otherwise direct.

 

CROSS-EXAMINATION OF DW4/A2 AND A3 BY COUNSEL FOR 1ST ACCUSED

 

Q:               You have in your hands Exhibit 42 which is your letter of the 10th March 2017 which has as the attachment the laboratory testing of ammonium sulphate fertilizer. This is the scientific report on the testing of ammonium sulphate fertilizer by CRIG.

                  

A:               Yes, that is so.

 

Q:               What this report states is that it compares the earlier test of various fertilizers which have the same chemical component as this ammonium sulphate fertilizer and concludes that this fertilizer is effective for use on cocoa.

 

A:               The test confirms that the test material is ammonium sulphate but it stop short of indicating the suitability for cocoa. This test does not say so.    

                  

Q:               But the report does not state that ammonium sulphate fertilizer is not suitable for cocoa.        

                  

A:               That is correct.

 

Q:               In fact, Cocobod purchased this fertilizer from Plantco in 2017.

                  

A:               CRIG is only concern with testing whether Cocobod bought it or not I will not be in a position to know.

 

Q:               Please have a look at Exhibit 41 and attached to this Exhibit 41 is your letter dated 19th May 2017 which has attached to it the scientific report on verification Omni Cocoa Aduane Fertilizer.

                  

A:               Yes, it is.

                  

Q:               In the report which is on the next page of Exhibit 41, it states that this fertilizer that is Omni Cocoa Aduane fertilizer was submitted by Omnifert Ltd. to CRIG on the 16th February 2017 for laboratory verification of nutrient content. That is the case?

                  

A:               That is the case.

 

Q:               And this scientific verification report was authored by A. Quaye, Dr. Alfred Arthur and A. J. Dogbatse.

                  

A:               That is the case.    

 

Q:               From the report the only test which was done by CRIG was a laboratory verification of the nutrient content of this fertilizer (Cocoa Aduane). That is it?         

                  

A:               The subject of the report is the laboratory confirmation of the fertilizer but CRIG had done some field tests prior to that not at CRIG as it is usually done at CRIG but elsewhere in collaboration with other agencies.

                            

Q:               What CRIG did by way of testing the efficacy of this fertilizer was to test the laboratory verification of the nutrient content on its own. That is the case?

                  

A:               It is a little complicated. I am trying to explain that based on the last page of the Exhibit 41, the initial field trials had taken place and so in this particular case scientists decided to verify that the sample they were testing was the same as the one previously used in the field.

 

Q:               I am putting it to you that what the CRIG scientists confirmed and which is contained on the last page of Exhibit 41 is to  the effect that an identical fertilizer and if I read from the first line. (read). What I have just read to you from the scientific report, the test which was done by the IFDC and CRIG with technical support of Cocoa Abrabo Association and Ministry of Agriculture is not in respect of this Cocoa Aduane fertilizer but other fertilizers which had similar characteristics as this Cocoa Aduane Fertilizer. That is so?

                  

A:               That is so. The last page does not make specific mention of Cocoa Aduane.

 

Q:               In fact, this test the scientist talked about took place between 2009 and 2012 at the time Cocoa Aduane Fertilizer by Omnifert Ltd had not been submitted to CRIG for testing.

                  

A:               That is so.

                  

Q:               What happened is that five years after the test had been completed for some fertilizers by CRIG, MOFA, IFDC with technical support of Cocoa Abrabo Association, Cocoa Aduane Granular fertilizer which claimed to have similar characteristics   as these other fertilizers for which field test had been conducted and completed five years ago was submitted to Cocobod for testing as an effective fertilizer for cocoa. That is what the report from CRIG states. Is that not so?

                  

A:               Yes, that is so.

 

Q:               When this fertilizer was sent for testing to CRIG by Cocobod, it was a decision of the scientists as contained in their scientific report that to conduct a test on this fertilizer by conducting a laboratory test only for less than three months. Is that not so as from the report, this fertilizer was received by CRIG on the 16th February 2017.  

                  

A:               That is so.

 

Q:               You can confirm that from this report CRIG did not conduct a field testing of Omni Cocoa Aduane Fertilizer but only a laboratory for three months. That is so?

                  

A:               That is correct.

                  

Q:               The recommendation of CRIG is that the nutrient content of the fertilizer is similar to the earlier tested fertilizers five years ago and it therefore recommended Omni Cocoa Aduane as good for use on matured cocoa. That is so?

                  

A:               That is so.

 

Q:               The authors of this report include Dr. Alfred Arthur (PW2). That is so?

                  

A:               That is correct.

 

Q:               The Deputy Chief Executive, Agronomy and Quality Control of Cocobod at the time this report was accepted by Cocobod was Dr. Yaw Adu Ampomah (PW3). Is that not so?          

                  

A:               That is correct.

                  

Q:               The Executive Director of CRIG at the time this scientific report was prepared and accepted by CRIG and forwarded to Cocobod was Dr. Franklin Manu Amoah (PW1). That is so.

                    

A:               That is correct.

 

Q:               Both Dr. Franklin Amoah (PW1), Dr. Alfred Arthur (PW2) and Dr. Yaw Adu Ampomah (PW3) all accept that laboratory testing for fertilizer for three months alone without a field test of the fertilizer is enough if the test confirms the existence of nutrients that are known as effective for cocoa.  

                  

A:               That is correct.              

 

Q:               This scientific report which concluded that the laboratory test of known nutrient in fertilizers which led to the recommendation of Omni Cocoa Aduane  as an effective fertilizer took place before the 19th May 2017. Is that not it?

                  

A:               That is correct.

                            

Q:               In coming to the decision on recommending the use of Omni Cocoa Aduane Fertilizer as an effective fertilizer on matured cocoa, the authors of the scientific report including Dr. Alfred Arthur accepted the views and or made references to publication by A. A. Afrifa as you can see from the report. Is that not so?

                  

A:               That is so.

 

Q:               The report of A. A. Afrifa which was co-authored amongst other persons including Dr. Alfred Arthur concerns nutrients properties in soils and fertilizers.

                  

A:               The subject of the papers have been generalised but basically that is so.

 

Q:               You would agree with me as at the second coming of Dr. Yaw Adu Ampomah in 2017 Cocobod and CRIG’s position in respect of testing of fertilizer is that the field test of fertilizers is not mandatory and provided the laboratory test alone confirms the existence of the nutrients the fertilizer can be recommended for use on matured cocoa.

                  

A:               That is so.  

                  

Q:               With Omni Cocoa Aduane Fertilizer there was no nursery test of this fertilizer even though CRIG recommended based on the three months laboratory test alone that this fertilizer was effective for use on matured cocoa. Is that not so?

                  

A:               That is correct.

 

Q:               Again, this report was signed by you for and on behalf of your then Executive Director of CRIG, Dr. Franklin Amoah (PW1) and with his knowledge and agreement. That is it? 

 

A:               That is so.

 

Q:               Dr. Yaw Adu Ampomah (PW3) accepted these findings as to the effectiveness of Omni Cocoa Aduane Fertilizer with the full knowledge that this fertilizer was tested in the laboratory for three months. That is so?

                  

A:               That is correct.

                  

Q:               You are aware that Omni Cocoa Aduane Fertilizer is being used by Cocobod who have purchased this fertilizer for use by cocoa farmers.

                  

A:               It may have been procured but as I have stated earlier procurement of fertilizer is not part of CRIG duties.

 

Q:               When you were in CRIG or during your time in Cocobod you got to know about an investigation which was chaired by Dr. Yaw Adu Ampomah on the testing of fertilizers and you can confirm from page 3 of the report under the Executive Summary that this committee sat between October and November 2017.  You can confirm this.

                  

A:               I did hear of the committee.

 

Q:               You can further confirm that as at the time the committee started sitting between October and November 2017, Dr. Yaw Adu Ampomah had received your letter of the 19th day of May 2017 forwarding the scientific report of the effectiveness of Omni Cocoa Aduane Fertilizer on matured cocoa.          

                  

A:               Based on the date that should be so.

                  

Q:               You can also confirm that before the committee sat Dr. Alfred Arthur (PW2) had in the scientific report in respect of Omni Cocoa Aduane Fertilizer recommended same for use on matured cocoa by dispensing with any other trial namely either a nursery or a field trial on matured cocoa by analysing the chemical nutrients for three months in a laboratory test.

                  

A:               That is what the report, the lead author of which is A. K. Quaye says. A. K. Quaye was a lead author though Dr. Alfred Arthur participated in it.

 

Q:               You can further confirm that PW1, that is Dr. Franklin Amoah as at the date of the sitting of the committee i.e. in October, November 2017 had in May 2017 accepted the fact that field trials of fertilizers and or nursery trials of fertilizer on cocoa was not a necessity before recommending  its effectiveness on matured cocoa.

                  

A:               That is correct.     

 

 

BY COURT:        Further cross-examination of DW4/A2 and A3 to continue and the witness is temporarily discharged. 

 

The case is adjourned to 28th May 2024 at 10:30a.m.

 

 

 

ABOAGYE TANDOH

                                                          (JUSTICE OF THE HIGH COURT)

 

 

 

                  

Source: Classfmonline.com