General News Tue, 10 Apr 2018

Opuni Trial: We’ll provide copies of prosecution documents – Gloria Akuffo

The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo has revealed her readiness to furnish lawyers for the embattled former COCOBOD boss Dr Stephen Opuni with all documents required to defend their client.

According to her, she will do everything possible within the law to secure the conviction of the two suspects, Dr Opuni and a private businessman Seidu Agongo both of whom are currently standing trial at an Accra High Court over a number of accusations including willfully causing financial loss to the state.

Ms Akuffo’s response comes a day after Dr Opuni brought a motion before the court asking the Attorney General to produce all documents she intends to use in prosecuting him in court.

The motion, filed through his lawyers, said: “I also do not have copies of any of the letters and or documents mentioned and or referred to by the Prosecution in the facts.”

“I am entitled as of right to all facilities which the prosecution intends to use at the trial. This is to enable myself and my Counsel prepare for the trial.”

“…I have been further advised by Counsel and verily believe same to be true that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 19(2) (e) and (g) of the 1992 Constitution, I am entitled as of right to copies of all including the contracts and numerous letters referred to by the Prosecution,” parts of the motion read.

Reacting to this request, Ms Akuffo said: “As far as we are concern, we were prepared to give what we are going to rely on in the Baffoe-Bonnie case. Surprisingly, they came back formerly to the court asking for even documents that we are not going to rely on and that is what resulted in the referral.

“Our position hasn’t changed, what I said and what I meant was that we’ll give them what we’ll rely on in as far as the rule permit. When you are doing a summary trial, you are not required to give documents ahead of the hearing or to give witness statement but we said we have nothing to hide and in so far as there is a document that we seek to rely on, we are able to provide them but not other documents that we don’t need to rely on”.

Dr Opuni, businessman Seidu Agongo and his company AgriCult Company Limited, are facing 27 criminal charges in connection with the supply of fertilisers to COCOBOD in three separate contracts, which include GHS43.1million (2013/2014 cocoa farming season), GHS75.3million (2014/2015 cocoa farming season) and GHS98.9million (2015/2016 cocoa farming season) totalling GHS217million through sole-sourcing, the state claimed, adding that procurement procedures for sole-sourcing were not followed.

Source: classfmonline.com
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