The criminal charges levelled against Dr Stephen Opuni, an ex-CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board, are all “concocted”, a former Director of Finance at the state-owned cocoa-buying company, Mr Charles Tetteh Dodoo, has told the court presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenuga, a Justice of the Supreme Court sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge in the GHS217-million financial loss case involving Dr Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo as well as the latter’s private firm Agricult Company Limited.
They are facing 27 charges bordering on fraud, including defrauding by false pretences, willfully causing financial loss to the state, corruption by public officers and contravention of the Public Procurement Act in relation to the supply and purchase of Lithovit foliar fertiliser.
Mr Dodoo, who is Dr Opuni’s first defence witness in the more-than-four-year-year-old case, served on the Board of COCOBOD for 8 years as well as its Entity Tender Committee.
His evidence-in-chief and testimony during the trial have been complementary of Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo.
Confronted by Chief State Attorney Evelyn Keelson on Monday, 25 April 2022 during his cross-examination that: “You have only come to help the first accused [Dr Opuni] as your former boss and not based on personal knowledge”, Mr Dodoo rebuffed: “My Lord, I disagree,” explaining: “My Lord, having heard the charges as read and explained to me by the lawyers of the first accused, and having provided the lawyers with information which has documentary evidence which shows that the charges, as explained to me, have been concocted”.
At that instant, Justice Honyenuga intervened and cautioned: “As to whether it is concocted or not, leave it to the court to decide”.
The witness then apologised for that comment and was subsequently discharged.
The case was adjourned to 9 May 2022.