An Accra High court has ordered the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, to retrieve and furnish former COCOBOD Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, with some documents from the Economic and Organised Crimes Office and other state agencies needed for his defense.
The presiding judge, Justice Clemence Honyenuga, gave the order after he was notified of the failure of the state to hand over some documents to the accused persons claiming they were not available at the Attorney General’s office.
Lawyers for Mr. Opuni and the other accused person alongside his business entity, told the court that letters written by Dr. Opuni to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) on sole-sourced fertilizer contracts, certificates issued by Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, and all other relevant documents for the supply of fertilizers since 2008, which can be found the Economic and Organized Crime Office, EOCO, have not been given to them.
Steven Opuni, Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited, are facing criminal trial for allegedly causing financial loss to the state.
The case has been adjourned to July 9.
Release prosecution documents to Opuni in 7-days – Court orders AG
The High Court on June 13 ordered the Attorney General to within seven days, give Dr. Stpehen Opuni all documents they will rely on as evidence against him in the ongoing trial.
Dr. 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