The ninth defense witness in the continuing trial of Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana COCOBOD, has been summoned to testify.
Mr Reginald Aduakwa is an employee of the Standard Chartered Bank in Accra.
Mr. Samuel Codjoe, counsel for Dr. Opuni, informed the court presided over by Justice Aboagye Tandoh yesterday that the defense has previously subpoenaed the witness and requested that the court’s registrar contact him (Mr. Aduakwa).
Meanwhile, Dr. Gilbert Anin Kwapong, the eighth defense witness and former Executive Director of Cocoa Research Institute CRIG, finished his evidence and was released.
The COCOBOD trial had gone on for almost six years. Justice Clement Jackson Honyenugah, a retired Supreme Court Judge, served as the first trial judge before retiring.
The case docket was eventually given to Justice Gyimah Boadi, who chose to hold a new trial due to what he deemed “suspicions and allegations” from the parties involved.
Justice Boadi was subsequently moved, and the matter was given to Justice Aboagye Tandoh.
Prior to that, Godred Yeboah Dame, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, filed an appeal against Justice Boadi’s decision to hold a new trial, and a three-member panel of judges later overruled the order to restart the trial.
In March 2018, the Attorney-General accused Dr. Opuni and Agongo with 27 counts for allegedly participating in illegalities that resulted in a financial loss of GH¢271.3 million to the state and the distribution of sub-standard fertilizer to cocoa producers.
Agongo is accused of using fraudulent ways to sell substandard fertilizer to COCOBOD for distribution to cocoa farmers, while Dr. Opuni is accused of assisting the act by refusing to enable Agongo’s goods to be tested and approved in accordance with the law.
The two suspects have pleaded not guilty to all 27 allegations and are now on GH¢300,000 bond each.
The case has been postponed to January 25.