General News Tue, 10 Apr 2018

Opuni fights back

Lawyer for the embattled former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni – who has been dragged to court for causing GH¢217,370,289.22 financial loss to the state – has filed a motion at the high court for the prosecution to furnish him and his client with documents they intend to rely on for the trial.

In a copy of the motion, which was sighted by DAILY GUIDE, the lawyer is demanding all documents, including statements of prosecution witnesses to be called at the trial.

Dr Opuni, who according to the Attorney General, Glori Afua Akuffo, faces up to 25 years’ imprisonment, if found guilty of receiving bribe from businessman Agongo, is also through his lawyer asking the prosecution to provide him with all correspondences from the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) in connection with Lithovit Foliar Fertilizer before, during and after his tenure as CEO of COCOBOD.

In all, he is praying the court to order the prosecution to provide him with about 13 documents the prosecution intends to rely on during the trial.

Some of the documents are all certificates issued by CRIG for fertilizers from 2008 till March 2018, as well as renewal of all such certificates.

“All letters written by COCOBOD through 1st accused (Dr Opuni) to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for permission to sole-source contracts for all fertilizers are also being requested by the defence team.

Dr Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo are before an Accra High Court for causing GH?217,370,289.22 financial loss to the state.

The two are facing a total of 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretence, willfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by a public officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

The two have each been granted a GH?300,000 self-cognizance bail by the court, presided over by Justice Jackson Clemence Honyegah, a Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional high court judge, after they had pleaded not guilty to all the 27 charges.

As part of the bail conditions, the two are to deposit their Ghanaian passports with the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.

They are also to write to the CID boss any time they wish to travel out of the country.

The Director-General is also to submit a report to the registrar of the court within 48 hours of any activities relating to their travel arrangements.

Source: dailyguideafrica.com
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