A scientist at the University of Ghana Chemistry Department, who was asked to analyse Lithovit fertiliser has admitted that he had no expertise in the field of fertiliser.
Dr Emmanuel Yaw Osei-Twum, who is the fifth prosecution witness, was testifying in the ongoing trial of former COCOBOD Stephen Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo.
Under cross-examination, the witness was asked by Mr Nutifafa Nutsukpui, the stand-in lead counsel for Mr Agongo, about the number of publications he has on fertilisers, as an expert.
But Dr Yaw Osei-Twum conceded, “My Lord, I am not an expert in fertiliser chemistry, I am an analytical chemist and my work covers a broad range of samples. So, I don’t claim to be an expert in fertilisers.”
After analysing the Lithovit fertiliser, five out of the 10-page report the team submitted to EOCO was a reproduction of existing materials.
Based on Dr Yaw Osei-Twum’s responses, Mr Nutsukpui asserted: “I am putting it to you that both of you, who you claimed carried out the analysis on [Lithovit fertiliser], do not, in the greatest respect, know what you were looking for.”
But the witness rejected that assertion.
However, the lawyer insisted, “And sir, you see, you did not do the work entrusted to you by EOCO, you cut corners based on your answer immediately above, I am putting that to you.”
He responded, “My Lord, we did not cut corners. The request says we were to examine and that included literature review as well as tests.”
Dr Opuni, Mr Agongo and Agricult Ghana Company Limited are facing 27 charges of willfully causing financial loss of GHS217 to the state, through three separate fertiliser supply contracts between 2014 and 2016.
They have pleaded not guilty to all the charges and are on self-recognition bail of GHS300,000 each.
Source: Ghana|Class News.