Opuni trial: Verbal communication not sufficient to test Cocoa Nti fertiliser -PW2

Jerome Abgesi Dogbatse, a Senior Research Scientist at the Soil Science Division of Cocoa Research Institute (CRIG), says he, together with Dr. Alfred Arthur, the 2nd Prosecution Witness (PW2) in the cocoa trial apologised for acting on a verbal communication to produce test report on Cocoa Nti fertiliser, as contained in Rev. Fr. Dr. Oddoye Committee’s report, marked as Exhibit 17E.

In paragraph 4 of the said Exhibit 17E, Dr. Alfred Arthur (PW2) states as follows: “we are sorry and subsequently apologise to have assumed that the verbal communication between the Deputy Chief Executive, Agronomy and Quality Control office in 2013 was sufficient to allow the testing to be done.”

Jerome Abgesi Dogbatse stated under cross examination that “we” in paragraph 4 was referring Dr. Alfred Arthur and himself Jerome Abgesi Dogbatse, although he is not a witness to that alleged verbal communication.

Despite not being a witness to the said verbal communication to test Cocoa Nti fertiliser, at a time the mother organisation, COCOBOD, had not instructed them to do so, he believed Dr Alfred Arthur appended his signature on the test report.

Jerome Dogbatse was under cross examination by Samuel Codjoe, Counsel for Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, first accused (A1) in GH¢271.3 million cocoa fertiliser fraud case.
Testifying before the court last week, Thursday, Jerome said it was the same Dr. Alfred Arthur (PW2) who claimed the Cocoa Nti sample was delivered to CRIG in 2013 by Enapa Ventures and OCP Morocco, when there was no such record in CRIG.

Jerome added that he did not work on cocoa Nti fertiliser sample in 2013, 2014 or 2015 but only reviewed the report just like any other fertiliser in November 2013.
Secondly, his signature was on the report because that was the norm at CRIG that all Scientists in the division append their signatures on test reports, whether they participated or not.

In respect of Cocoa Nti fertiliser, the head of the Soil Science Division, Dr A.A. Afrifa refused to sign the scientific report, as well as the apology letter to the Rev. Fr. Dr. Oddoye Committee, which investigated the matter.

Jerome Dogbatse also told the court, presided over by Justice AboagyeTandoh, that although Dr. Alfred Arthur claims a delegation from OCP Morocco, MOFA and ENAPA Ventures visited CRIG in 2013, with a proposal to submit a fertiliser sample for testing, that was not the procedure of submitting fertilisers for testing at CRIG.

Additionally, Dr. Alfred Arthur is on record to have admitted that he attended a fertilizer conference in Morocco on behalf of ENAPA Ventures, which supplied Cocoa Nti fertiliser, but the court was told that the trip was not sanctioned by COCOBOD or CRIG.

Testifying for and on behalf of the suppliers of lithovit foliar fertiliser, Seidu Agongo (A2) and Agricult Ghana Limited (A3), Jerome Dogbatse confirmed that he was cleared by the Rev. Fr. Dr. Oddoye Committee of any wrong doing.
Jerome Dogbatse also told the court that it was Dr Alfred Arthur who told him that the samples of lithovit fertiliser submitted for testing in July 2013 was powdery substance, whereas his head of division, Dr. Afrifa, says it is liquid.

The container, which content is powdery lithovit fertiliser, tendered in court by Dr. Alfred Arthur, while testifying for the state, could not be identified either by 3rd prosecution witness (PW3) Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah or Jerome Abgesi Dogbatse.
Dr. Opuni’s interest in the confession of Dr. Alfred Arthur and apology before the Rev Fr. Dr. Oddoye Committee stems from prosecution’s accusation that he told the Scientists to shorten the testing period of fertilisers.

Dr. Franklin Manu Amoah, 1st prosecution witness (PW1) and former Executive Director of CRIG, told the court that Dr. Opuni, then Chief Executive of COCOBOD, orally urged Scientists to step aside the two to three years testing of fertilisers, when he assumed office in January 2014.

Jerome Dogbatse, however, told the court that he never heard from Dr Opuni when he visited CRIG in January 2014 for a durbar or from anyone at CRIG that the CE had ordered scientists to shorten testing period of fertilisers.

Dr. Francis Baah, Director of Research at COCOBOD, who worked directly under Dr. Opuni, as his office manager, earlier denied organising any meeting between A1 and Scientists on the subject matter of reducing the testing period of fertilisers.

According to Dr Baah, what he organised shortly after Dr Opuni assumed office was not a meeting, but a presentation by the various heads of units of COCOBOD and what they do.
He said the presentations were not done at a go, but on sessions and did not also see any minutes of a meeting that captured that A1 has given the said instruction.

Tuesday’s proceedings

Q. Mr. Dogbatse, having conducted tests with respect to fertilisers at CRIG, you can confirm to this court that you need the same quantity of fertiliser products to conduct the test. Is that so?

A. Yes.
Q. And you know that sample, which is submitted together with the application, can never be enough to conduct a test. Is that true?
A. Yes.

Q. Have you seen Exhibit E in CRIG before?
A. No my Lord.
Q. So you will agree with Dr Adu Ampomah, when he stated under cross examination…
Prosecution: Quoting exactly what he said…

Q. It is never possible to conduct a test on a fertiliser in CRIG with Exhibit E, with the content which is almost half full?
A. I can’t speak to that because I was not part of the testing officer.
Q. But as a Scientist who has conducted a fertiliser test, you will agree with me that no test on fertilisers spanning a period of six months can be conducted with half a quantity with this fertilizer?

A. Again I don’t know what the product is and I don’t know attrition and manufacturers application rates. Hence, I cannot draw a conclusion that this is not enough for the testing of the product.

Q. You see, in CRIG, before a test is conducted on a fertiliser and you confirmed that yesterday, the applicant will be notifying to bring the quantities required to conduct the test, as the test is never conducted with the sample, which is brought?
A. That is correct.

Q. You are aware that in respect to lithovit, CRIG wrote a letter to Agricult requesting that it required 10 kilos of the product to enable it to conduct the test. Is that not so?
A. I’m not aware of that letter, but it presupposed that after the submission of the sample, an additional quantity is requested. That is what I know.

Q. Can you have a look at Exhibit 2. Exhibit 2 is a letter signed by F.M. Amoah, who was the then Executive Director of CRIG, requesting 10 kilos of the product for the testing. You have seen it, isn’t it?

A. Yes, I have seen it.
Q. The letter is dated 25th day of July, 2013. It is correct, isn’t it?
A. It is correct.

Q. Being a Scientist in CRIG, who has also conducted numerous tests on fertilisers, you are aware that when this material is delivered from the supplier, it will be delivered to the head of the division?
A. Yes, that is correct.
Q. By the 25th July, you were in the employment of COCOBOD or CRIG?

A. No.
Q. Opuni (A1), as you are aware, was also not in employment of COCOBOD by that date?
A. Yes.
Q. As at that date, A.A Afrifa was the Head of the soil science division of CRIG?

A. Yes.
Q. But were you aware when you appeared before the Adu-Ampomah committee which sat on October 2017, and this report Exhibit H, A.A Afrifa informed the committee that he received the fertiliser sample from Agricult for testing. Isn’t it?

A. Yes.
Q. And he also stated that the samples he received were in plastic containers and liquid?
A. Yes.
Q. When A1 visited CRIG in early January 2014, you were at that time in the employment of CRIG as a young Research Scientist, is that not so?
A. Yes that is correct.

Q. In CRIG, to your knowledge, did your then Director, Franklin Amoah, have any meeting with your division with respect to shortening the period of testing?
A. No.
Q. In fact, if there was going to be any meeting with respect to shortening the period of testing for fertiliser, it would have taken place at the CTCM, which was the body oversight responsibility of fertilizer testing?

A. I don’t know of that.
Q. Did it ever come to your knowledge or notice that a directive has been given by the head office that the period of testing for fertilisers should be shortened?

A. No.
Q. In fact, at the Soil Science Division, to your knowledge, during the time lithovit was tested up to its approval in January 2014, were you ever privy to any directive to the Scientists to shorten the period of fertilizer?

A: No.
Q. I’m putting it to you that if there was any such directive, being one of the Scientists who was tasked with testing fertilisers, at least it would have come to your knowledge or notice?

A. That it correct.
Q. You know Mr Akrofi at CRIG, can you tell us what was his position from 2013 to 2014 December?
A. I know he was a principal Research Scientist at the pathology Division.
Q. He was also as at January 2014, the chairman of CTCM?

A. Yes
Q. You see when Dr Opuni (A1) visited CRIG in January 2014, he held a durbar with the workers after which he undertook a familiarization tour of the place is that not the case?
A. Yes.
Q. During his visit, you were present at the durbar?

A. Yes.
Q. To your knowledge after Dr Opuni, together with his entourage, left Tafo for Accra, there was no issue of him having given a direction as to how the Scientists were to conduct test?
A. Yes there was no issue.
Q. I’m putting it to you that if any such issue of how test of fertilisers should be conducted, being a soil scientist whose core objective includes the testing of fertilisers, you will definitely would have had a hint of any such directive?

A. Yes that is correct.
Q. When A1 was in CRIG on his maiden visit, cast your mind back to January 8 and 9, 2014, he did not have a separate meeting with the scientists and senior management in one group and the entire working for in another group?

A. Yes.
Q. You can confirm that he met the entire working staff as one group and you were present at the meeting?
A. Yes.
Q. Can you give me Exhibit 5. As at 7th July 2017, who was the Executive Director of CRIG?

A. Dr. A.A Amoah.
Q. You can also confirm to the court that because CRIG is the scientific division of COCOBOD and the body charged with the testing and re-evaluation of fertilisers, which are used on cocoa. It is the best entity to give information on the nature of whether a fertilizer is liquid or granular?

A. Yes.
Q. Can you have a look at Exhibit 5. Exhibit 5 is a letter written by Rev. Dr. Oddoye, dated 7th July 2017 and addressed to Agricult.
You can confirm that what is stated in the first paragraph of the letter namely: “we wish to remind you of the police of the institute to renew certificate from all recommended insecticide, machines and fertilizer,” is that what CRIG does?

A. Yes.
Q. And in this letter can you confirm to this court that CRIG, acting by the said Rev. Dr. Oddoye, stated the re-assessment and evaluation fee for lithovit liquid fertiliser is GH¢3,000.00. that is true isn’t
A. I can see that in the letter
Q. You will then confirm that in CRIG even as at 2017 July, the only lithovit fertiliser, which was known to it is the liquid fertiliser?

A. Yes
Q. This letter you also confirm is an official correspondence from CRIG where you work?
A. Yes
Q. You see Exhibit 3 is dated the 26th of April 2017. It is a police investigative statement obtained from PW1, Franklin Amoah. You have before you isn’t it?

A .Yes
Q. As at this date namely 26th of April 2017, you can confirm from the statement that PW1 Franklin Amoah was the Executive Director of CRIG?
A. Yes I can see that in the second paragraph

Q. And you can also confirm from page 3 of Exhibit 3 that Dr Amoah states in the first line and if I may quote ” Dr Baah affirmed that lithovit as a liquid fertiliser induce prolific flowering on cocoa trees which could result in high yields.” Is that not so?
A. That is in the statement.
Q. You know Dr Francis Baah?

A. Yes, I do.
Q. I’m putting it to you that when PW1 Dr Franklin Amoah returned to CRIG during his second coming from retirement in 2017, he, together with all Scientists in CRIG were aware according to them that lithovit is a liquid fertiliser?
A. I don’t speak for all the scientists but I know myself, Mr Afrifa, and Dr Arthur known lithovit to be a liquid fertiliser.

Q. In fact without CRIG, which is the scientific division of COCOBOD, stating or properly describing lithovit as a liquid fertiliser, COCOBOD cannot purchase lithovit liquid fertiliser?
A. Yes.
Q. I’m further putting it to you that first Accused Dr Stephen Opuni didn’t in any shape or form give any directive to any scientists including you who worked on the testing of fertilizer in any way or whatsoever?

A. Soil Scientists yes, but with other scientists I can’t speak for them.
Q. Dr. Alfred Arthur (PW2) in his statement of the 6th of April 2017, Mr Dogbatse, in line 12 of Exhibit 6, he listed at his function that is supposed to training farmers in good agriculture practices. Is that one of the mandates of CRIG staff as far as you are aware?

A. Yes.
Q. He says he is also involved in the testing/screening of foliar fertilisers – foliar, organic or conventional- submitted by chemical companies through COCOBOD. Is that one of the functions?

A. Yes.
Q. You will agree with me when it comes to training of farmers on good agriculture practices in cocoa that is a core mandate of CHED which is also in charge of the distribution fertilisers to farmers?

A. Yes but we scientists are obliged to train farmers in good agriculture practices
Q. So you will then agree with that Dr Alfred Arthur PW2 in his interactions with fertiliser specifically lithovit, see the same lithovit as you and the other scientists which is a liquid fertiliser?

A. I can speak to that I saw a liquid.
Q. In your line of duty at CRIG can your head of division bypasses the Executive Director to give you a direct pass?

A. In some cases it happens.
Q. But you can confirm as Dr Arthur stated in his statement Exhibit 6 that it is his head of division who will assign work to him from time to time?

A. Yes.
Q. Turn to the last page and you can confirm that according to Dr Alfred Arthur on the six lines from the top, he states clearly and I quote “I believe the lead author who submitted the final report…can best explain the scenarios between the three product that Vegemax and lithovit?”

A. I can see that is there so it is lead the author of the scientific report who will have entire knowledge of the product in terms of the report?
A. The lead author has the entire knowledge can have…
Q. In the last three lines, he is also …CRIG has no strict policy that all fertiliser for a period of court?

A. Yes.
Q. So it is therefore erroneous when it is guessed that there was a wrong doing in testing period of six months?

A. Yes.
Q. Can you confirm from line 13 from the bottom of Exhibit 7th is the witness statement of Alfred Arthur on the 4th of July . He is explicit that he did not work on the test of lithovit alone and that the Soil Science Division

A. That is what the statement inferred.
Q. As at time you were employed how many scientists were at the Soil Science Division?
A: As at the time I was employed there were two soil scientists.
Q. And the most senior of these two at the division and who was doing the testing with Dr Arthur is A. A. Afrifa?

A. Yes.
Q. I’m putting it to you that it is not possible that PW2 to use this sample based on what he himself has said to conduct test on lithovit?

A. I can speak to that
Q. Now turn to the next page line 8. on the next page, in this Alfred Arthur states as follows “as I have stated earlier the lead author who was the Head of the division might have done additional test or might have other knowledge on knowing to which he has included in the report.” This statement by Alfred Arthur with respect to test which is conducted by the lead author is not unusual in CRIG?

A. Yes.
Q. Then 9th line from the bottom, Alfred Arthur states ” I have stated earlier the product lithovit was a good one in terms of it’s efficiency to improve plant.” Did he state that in his statement?

A. Yes
Q. And from your own experience by way of your reevaluation of lithovit liquid fertiliser, you can confirm Dr Arthur’s correct description of lithovit fertilizer.
A. Correct. My lord from the reevaluation rounds we did, farmers did not complain about any adverse effects of lithovit so I think it is in line with what Dr Arthur has stated
Q. Dr Alfred Arthur PW2 further states that “it is efficiency in terms of boosting yield cannot speak it because I don’t have any field data to support” isn’t it!

A. Yes
Q. You as a fellow scientist as Dr Arthur during your interrogation by PW3 Dr Adu-Ampomah, you came to a different conclusion where you stated that you can infer in science and come to a conclusion that it could increase yield ” that is so?

A. Yes
Q. So you will agree with me that the view and opinion of PW2 with respect to his requirements of field data is his personal opinion and not sacrosanct?
A. That can’t be correct. It is a choice of scientist to make either you make an inference at one point which is correct because there is evidence that shows that cocoa growth can be made to yield. However a scientist seeking for a field data to draw conclusions on yield is not wrong

Q. You can confirm to this court that Exhibit 6 which is date 6th April 2017 and Exhibit 7, which is dated the 4 July 2017, which are all statements of Dr Alfred Arthur, in which he states lithovit he worked on is powder, Exhibit 5 which is a CRIG letter which is dated 7th July 207 that is after Exhibits 6 &7 , is clear to that lithovit is a liquid fertiliser?

A. That is correct
Q. I’m putting it to you that as an individual scientist when it comes to the nature of fertilizer in CRIG, is best determined by CRIG as an institution than the individual description?

A. Yes
Q. Give him Exhibit 8. Exhibit 8 is a statement by Alfred Arthur concerning a charge of conspiracy to commit crime against him and this is dated 16/1/18. That is the case isn’t?
A. Yes that not exactly the case
Q. You having worked at CRIG you know one OtuoSiriboe. Isn’t it?

A. Yes
Q. Who is he?
A. My lord he a technical staff at the soil science laboratory.
Q. And during the test of lithovit, he would have worked on the lithovit by way of laboratory test?

A. I cant speak to that.
Q. On page 2, of this statement and from line 6 from the top, Alfred Arthur states as follows according to the CID, a recorded data submitted to them by OtuoSiriboe, technical officer of CRIG, indicated that “the firat data on lithovit was in Feb 2014, implying that the testing of the product started in November 2013 and not July 2013

A. I see December 2013
Q. But confirm that with this correction and date this statement is there?
A. Yes
Q. But you see Dr Alfred Arthur, disputed this fact in his statement and states that contrary to OtuoSiriboe had informed the CID, he did not work with OtuoSiriboe but with rather one Winfred, who was a national service personnel, Mr Boakye, who late and Mr Attanga retired. You can confirm that?

A. Yes
Q. By this statement you will infer that the CID found as a fact that OtuoSiriboe also worked on or claimed to have worked on lithovit?
A. Yes
Q. I’m putting it as the police found out if the OtuoSiriboe had stated he definitely would have conducted a test with a sample of lithovit fertilizer without it the laboratory test can’t be conducted?

A. That is correct
Q. And definitely OtuoSiriboe conducting this laboratory test on lithovit which Dr Arthur claim was unknown to him would definitely would have been under the supervision of a soil scientist. I’m putting that to you?

A. Yes
Q. Give him Exhibit 9. You have in your hands exhibit 9 is another statement from Dr Alfred Arthur PW2 dated the 12/1/18, if you reas from line 19 from the bottom ” from my response was that raising of seedlings, treatment application and data taking span july 2013 to January 2014″ that is contained there isn’t it?

A. Yes
Q. From 9th line from the bottom ” the head of the division, Mr Afrifa was not just the head of division but the leader of the trial” isn’t it?
A. Yes it is stated in the statement

Q. You are aware that it is possible for the head of division of the soil science not to be a leader of a fertilizer trial with respect to a particular fertiliser. That is true?
A. Yes.
Q. You would agree having been at the soil science division till date the leader of the trial in a fertilizer test is the individual in charge of the trial?

A. Yes
Q. And he states further in his statement ” at the time we were only two researchers in the division. Mr Afrifa had worked on several products so he was well experienced in this area to me. I worked under instructions and I can’t just be going to do things on my own” this contained there?

A. Yes
[Q. You see as a fellow scientist just as Dr Alfred Arthur was in the soil science division you can confirm from your experience that by this statement Dr Arthur meant that he was not the leader or conducted the test on lithovit alone

A. Yes
Q. Move to the next page, line 16 from the bottom. Alfred Arthur PW2 states that Mr Afrifa cannot say ” that he has no hand in the testing and he didn’t even see the product at all.” By this statement PW2 Dr Alfred Arthur as contained in Exhibit 9 is explicit that A. A. Afrifa had a hand in the testing of lithovit fertilizer. Isn’t it?

A. That is what the statement implies
Q. Mr Dogbatse you would agree with me if as Alfred Arthur stated that A. A. Afrifa would surely would have tested the product itself i.elithovit fertiliser?

A. Yes
Q. So if as stated by A. A. Afrifa that lithovit fertiliser he heard that what the soil science division received is liquid confirm your position as contained in Exhibit 5 lithovit is a liquid fertiliser?

A. Yes
Q. Mr. A. A. Afrifa could only have tested liquid fertiliser from the statement of PW2?

A. Yes
Q. From the 12 line of page 2 of Exhibit 9 line from the bottom PW2 Alfred Arthur ” the CTCM only reviewed a report by a lead scientist of a particular test.” By this statement and also being a scientist yourself in the testing of fertilisers at CRIG you can confirm that Dr Alfred Arthur is unambitious about the fact that A. A. Afrifa was the lead scientist of the testing lithovit?

A. Yes
Q. You can also confirm that from his statement he admits i.e PW2 he was not the lead scientist in the lithovit test?

A. Yes
Q. And he says further and if I quote ” MrAfrifa was the lead author of the trial, therefore, he would have submitted the report to the CTCM for a review as I have stated all this while. I submitted a specific task assigned to me to report.” That is contained there?

A. Yes
Q. You would confirm what is contained in his statement is exactly the norm at CRIG. That is so?
A Yes

Thursday’s proceedings 

Q: In CRIG, when it comes to procurement and fertilizer according to Dr. AnimKwapong and even PW1, Dr. Amoah, CRIG plays no role in the procurement?

A: I am not privy to that information. So I cannot speak to it.

Q: In your capacity as a scientist in CRIG, you ought to be aware that CRIG does not play any role in the determination of the kind of fertilizer COCOBOD would procure. That is the position?

A: Yes with this question that is correct.

Q: What CRIG does is that it re-evaluates existing fertilizers which have valid certificates to ensure that the fertilizer has the same ingredient as what was tested. That is the position?

A: The re-evaluation is meant for issuing of new certificates but not to validate existing certificates. That is what I know.

Q: It cannot, therefore, be the case that when it comes to the issue of procurement of an approved product COCOBOD would have to inform CRIG to do a random sampling of the product it intends to purchase?

A: Yes.

Q: When do you usually do the re-evaluation? In which month? Is it in January or November?

A: Yes we start from November most often.

Q: When therefore PW2, Dr. Alfred Arthur stated in his CID statement, Exhibit 10, the 7th line from the bottom on page 4, on the 26th January, 2018, that before COCOBOD purchases or procures any fertilizer “There was the issue of procurement of an approved product. COCOBOD was supposed to have informed CRIG in writing to the Executive Director, CRIG, to do a random sampling of the product they intended to purchase, this was not done in the case of lithovit”. It was not the position or never been the position in CRIG with respect to purchase of fertilizers?

A: What Dr. Alfred Arthur stated is what we call verification and it is different from re-evaluation so that is normally done.

Q: Who does the verification?

A: If it is from fertilizer, it is the Soil Science Division laboratory.

Q: Verification would be part of the re-evaluation process. Is that not the case?

A: Yes. It is part of re-evaluation. However, verification is done separately before purchase. Verification is just content analysis.

Q: Can you explain what content analysis is?

A: The content analysis is to determine whether the composition of the product as tested earlier is what is being purchased at the time of the analysis.

Q: Where do you get the samples for verification?

A: The samples for verification are taken from the intended quantities of fertilizer to be purchased.

Q: Is it before or after the contract of purchase by COCOBOD since you have to have a contract and the product supplied before you can pick samples for verification of the product?

A: What I know is instructions in the form of letter is issued to CRIG for CRIG to pick samples and do the verification. As to whether it is before or after I have no idea.

Q: But as you sit here you are aware that before COCOBOD contracted to purchase lithovit in 2014, 2015 and 2016 cocoa seasons, it had clearance from CRIG as to the efficacy of lithovit?

A: Yes. That is correct.

Q: Exhibit 17 contains amongst others, the report together with other documentation with respect to the Cocoa Nti fertilizer investigation (Dr. Oddoye committee). Can you refer to 17E. In 17 E, you have a memorandum from the authors, Soil Science Division dated 21st November, 2016, under the heading: ‘Submission of final report on the testing of Cocoa Nti fertilizer.’  It is signed by Dr. Alfred Arthur, J. A Dogbatse but not signed by Dr. A.A Afrifa. You can confirm that?

A: Yes. That is correct.

Q: You have another 17F, which is another memo dated 2nd November, 2016, also from Research scientists, Soil Science Division through the chairman, CTCM to the Executive Director CRIG but this time it was a response from only Dr. Alfred Arthur?

A: Yes. That is correct.

Q: At the time Dr. Alfred Arthur (PW2) claimed the Cocoa Nti sample was delivered to CRIG in 2013, you were not in the employment of CRIG?

A: Yes. At the time the sample was delivered I was not employed.

Q: And when you were employed in CRIG in 2013, you never worked on the testing of Cocoa Nti fertilizer in any shape or form. Either in 2013, 2014 or 2015?

A: Yes. That is correct.

Q: You were also not part of any team which worked on the scientific report on Cocoa Nti which was sent to Cocobod?

A: Yes. I only reviewed just as I did for lithovit.

Q: Unlike lithovit where you actually saw some plants applied with lithovit, with respect to Cocoa Nti you didn’t see any such cocoa plant applied with Cocoa Nti?

A: That is correct.

Q: In Exhibit 17E, Dr. Alfred Arthur states as he stated before the committee that he received a verbal communication from the then Deputy Chief Executive, Agronomy and Quality Control to receive 30 bags of the formulation with instructions to conduct a test of the product in 2013 and 2014. That is what is contained there?

A: Yes.

Q: You are aware that at the time this product was received by Dr. Alfred Arthur allegedly on the oral directive of the then Deputy Chief Executive, Agronomy and Quality Control, Dr. Yaw AduAmpomah (PW3) was the individual occupying the position and the person who allegedly gave this directive?

A: For the position yes but as to whether he gave the directive, I am not aware.

Q: Dr. Alfred Arthur (PW2) states in paragraph 4 of Exhibit 17E that “we are sorry and subsequently apologize to have assumed that the verbal communication between the Deputy Chief Executive, Agronomy and Quality Control office in 2013 and us was sufficient to allow the testing to be done”. When he said “we”, you were not part of any verbal instruction?

A: Yes but that is what Dr. Alfred Arthur told me.

Q: When he told you, you believed him that is why you appended your signature. Is that not so?

A: Yes.

Q: In paragraph 5, it is also contained that “we admit that we erred in what we did by conducting the test without documented approval from COCOBOD and hope that this will not happen again”. Did you apologize for what you did not do in the testing as you were not part of it?

A: No but I told Dr. Alfred Arthur that if that is the case we need to apologize as a division.

Q: The committee i.e. Dr. Oddoye’s committee, which was set up to investigate the unauthorized testing and or alleged testing of this Cocoa Nti fertilizer invited yourself, Dr. Alfred Arthur and Dr. Afrifa to appear before it. That is the case?

A: Yes. That is the case.

Q: The committee cleared you of any wrong doing in spite of the fact that you on your own decided to aid Dr. Alfred Arthur in apologizing for an obvious wrong he had done of which you were not part of?

A: Yes. That is correct.

Q: At that time, the then head of department of the Soil Science Division, A.A Afrifa did not sign Exhibit 17E, which contained the apology because just like you, he was not part of the test. That is the case, is that not so?

A: Yes that is the case.

Q: Because he didn’t take the bullet for Dr. Alfred Arthur for his wrongful act with respect to the alleged testing of Cocoa Nti, Dr. Alfred Arthur was obviously not pleased with A.A Afrifa?

A: That I cannot tell.

Q: But when you signed Exhibit 17E, which is the “apology explanation” dated 21st November, 2016, the then head of division, A.A Afrifa whose name is typed underneath your name refused to sign. That is so?

A: Yes.

Q: This misconduct which was committed by Dr. Alfred Arthur (PW2) is a misconduct which could have led to either termination or dismissal amongst other punishment as it is a serious offence. That is the position. Is that not so?

A: I don’t know about that.

Q: You are aware as you can see from Exhibit 17F, which is a response of Dr. Alfred Arthur that “a delegation from OCP Morocco, MOFA and ENAPA Ventures visited CRIG in 2013 with a proposal to submit a fertilizer sample for testing”. That is there?

A: Yes. It is there.

Q: Being in CRIG in the Soil Science Division, to your knowledge is that how fertilizers are submitted for testing?

A: No.

Q: According to Dr. Alfred Arthur (PW2), he on his own undertook a private visit on behalf of this ENAPA Ventures to Morocco for a fertilizer conference. That is so?

A: Yes.

Q: And he also states he admits that this visit was unauthorised by Cocobod. Is that not the case?

A: I cannot see that in paragraph 2.

Q: In paragraph 2, he says after a brief meeting OCP requested that one of the researchers Dr. Alfred Arthur comes to Morocco for fertilizer conference. As you sit here you are aware that the committee found as a fact that he went on his own on the ticket of OCP and not on CRIG’s ticket. That is so?

A: I didn’t see the content of the report from the committee. So I cannot speak to that.

Q: In 17A in paragraph 2, the inference from the final report of the committee signed by the then Executive Director of CRIG, Dr. AnimKwapong is that it was a private visit. Is that not it?

A: Yes. In paragraph 2, the committee said there is no evidence that COCOBOD officially requested him to test the fertilizer. However, in that paragraph I did not see anything with regards to what counsel is saying.

Q: Is there anything in Exhibit 17F, i.e. the response of Dr. Alfred Arthur indicating that the trip was an official trip on behalf of CRIG or Cocobod?

A: There is no indication of that.


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