General News Tue, 18 Dec 2018

Court directs COCOBOD to provide more documents

An Accra High Court has further directed the Deputy Director, Legal at COCOBOD to furnish the court with invoices and other attachments to letters required by the court from Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG).

At the last adjourned date, the court directed the Executive Director of CRIG to furnish the court with some letters accompanying with its invoice attachments.

At the Court’s sitting on Monday 17th December, the Court announced that it has received documents it demanded but its attachments were left out, hence the new directives.

The letters and documents presented include a letter for renewal of certificate dated November 20, 2014 for pesticides, fertilizers and spraying machines from January to December 2015 with Reference number CRG 4 Vol. 54.714 and another letter with reference number CRG. 39/14 Vol. 19/6448 dated October 21, 2014.

The documents also included its attachments and also a handing over notes of Dr Anim Kwapong together with its attachment and its report on the testing of agro-chemicals and spraying machine with all the pages signed.

Justice Clemence Honyenugah, an Appeal Court Judge, sitting as an additional High Court Judge giving the new directive said information reaching the court indicated that there were difficulties with regards to a letter dated 21 October 2014, which could not be traced.

The court, therefore gave up to Wednesday December 19 for the attachments to be provided.

The Court had earlier given a directive 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 acting in 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.

The Court gave the Deputy Director, Legal of COCOBOD, Mr Johannes Velba to explain to the court the circumstances leading to the unavailability of the said documents.

Justice Honyenugah said in the absence of the attachments to the letter furnished the court, the counsel indicated he would be unable to continue with the cross-examination.

Mr Velba said their efforts to trace that letter took them to file that contained the said letters from foli0 44 of that file to folio 47 seems to be either misfiled or the records have been tempered with.

“Consequently, that letter is not on the file,” he added.

He said the said letter was supposed to be in the middle of the documents, hence “we have therefore set up a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the unavailability of the letter and other attachments.”

Mr Velba prayed the court for some time to look for the document.

Mr Benson Nutsukpui, the Counsel for Seidu Agongo, the CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited commended the management of CRIG for the efforts in the provision of the earlier document demanded by the court.

“I need the attachments to the document to further cross-examine the witness,” he added.

The Court adjourned the case to Wednesday, December 19, for continuation of the trial.

Source: ghananewsagency.org
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