The former Director of Finance of Ghana Cocoa Board Charles, Kwao Tetteh Dodoo, has told the Accra High Court that Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni did not influence the content of letters from the procurement unit to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) on fertilizers purchased.
Charles Kwao Tetteh Dodoo, who is the first defence witness for the former COCOBOD Chief Executive Officer said, he vetted all draft letters from the procurement unit which were to be sent to the PPA for approval on fertilers before the CEO pended his signature, before they were dispatched.
His testimony contradicts what State Witnesses had earlier told the court in the case involving Dr Opuni and Seidu Agongo.
When counsel asked him of his response to the prosecution claim that Dr Opuni influenced the procurement process when it wrote ‘exhibit Q’ which was a letter dated Feb 25, 2014 to the PPA seeking approval to sole source fertilizer for Cocoa Hi-Tech program in 2013/2014, the witness said that was not correct.
The Witness said, Exhibit ‘Q’ was written by the Procurement manager and the distribution list of Exhibit ‘Q’ the procurement manager is the last on the list and upward is director of audit, director of finance and the three deputies of Chief executives.
He added that, “The letter (Exhibit Q) was responding to a PPA enquiry and the letter in its response referred to a meeting between the board of PPA and management of COCOBOD which took place in 2008.
“The results of the discussions of could be and is with the procurement unit of Cocobod. The letter referred to fertilizers, not particular one that Cocobod buys through sole sourcing and the correct price. And so this letter could not be coming from the CEO.
He (Opuni) has no idea what happend in 2008, so, this letter cannot be coming from the ceo who was not at post in 2008 and as I have indicated, distribution list indicate the one who originated the letter,” the told the court.
He explained that, “letters going out of COCOBOD are to be signed by the Chief Executive even though he doesn’t write them.”
*Letters for information on fertilizers*
Continuing with his Evidence-in-Chief for as the first defence witness, Mr Dodoo told the court that, the procurement unit wrote to a number of institutions requesting for information on fertilizers.
Breaking things down to the court, the witness, ‘Exhibit 81’ referred to Sidalco’s response in a letter it received from COCOBOD on Feb 25, 2014.