Opuni Trial: ‘Lithovit liquid fertilizer was a saviour’
Mr Thomas Amo Amankwah, the third defence witness in the trial involving Dr Stephen Opuni and two others, say lithovit liquid fertilizer was a very good fertilizer and a “saviour” to farmers who used it.
He said, “we have used a lot of fertilizers in the past but the use of lithovit liquid fertilizer brought a lot of yields to us.”
The witness in a cross-examination by Mr Nutifafa Nutsukpui, Counsel for Seidu Agongo, the Chief Executive Officer of Agricult Ghana Limited, told the court that it was not true that the lithovit fertilizer bought by COCOBOD had caused them financial loss.
Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, willfully causing financial loss to the State, money laundering, corruption by a public officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and are on a GH¢300,000.00 self recognizance bail each.
He said it was also not true that any farmer had drunk or could drink the lithovit liquid fertilizer.
The witness said initially before the introduction of the liquid fertilizer, farmers were trained by officers of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD, where they were told that chemicals had an effect on the body.
Mr Amankwah said what all farmers wanted was to get a better yield every year and they had used many fertilizers but the use of lithovit liquid fertilizer was “very good.”
He said no one ever complained about the fertilizer not being good and if it had had any negative effect on cocoa farms, farmers would not request more supply from the government.
Mr Nutsukpui suggested to the witness that the State had indicated that COCOBOD had suffered a financial loss by buying the lithovit fertilizer, but Mr Amankwah disagreed, saying no COCOBOD official had said anything negative about the fertilizer.
The witness said the information gotten was that the Board decided to cease the supply of the fertilizer to farmers.
The case was adjourned to June 1, 2020, for continuation.