Dr Emmanuel Osei-Twum, an Associate Professor in Chemistry, a witness in the trial of Dr Stephen Opuni and two others, says the report submitted to the Economic and Organised Office (EOCO) is credible.
He said if an attempt report was not coming from the scientists, who carried analysis on the sample and prepared the report.
Dr Osei-Twum was answering questions in a further cross-examination led by Mr Nutifafa Nutsukpui, Counsel for Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited, in Accra on Tuesday.
“We did not did have those writings in ink and we did not have those vertical lines. Our original report did not have these lines,” he added.
The Counsel asked the witness, whether he could see the ink writing in the report and the witness answered in the affirmative.
Mr Nutsukpui pointed to the witness that because the team working on the sample had the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) after the report was written, someone used link in an attempt to give it some credibility but the witness said “if someone did it, we did not do it.”
The witness said if the MSDS had been tendered in court as evidence, the Counsel would have known that the values in it were the same.
He said the only mistake the person, who altered the report made was swap the values for Calcium Carbonate for Magnesium Carbonate.
Dr Osei-Twum said “it is a credible report done by the Chemistry Department of the University of Ghana.”
Mr Nutsukpui asked the witness that all they did was to reproduce the content of the MSDS, had it signed as an independent analysis of the sample submitted by EOCO but the witness disagreed.
The witness said results on page 6 of the report were the results obtained from their analysis and that was the critical part of the report and that “they are not going to reinvent the wheel.”
Asked, how many publications he had authored on fertilizer as an expert, the witness said “I am not an expert in fertilizer chemistry but rather an analytical Chemist.” He said his work cuts across a broad range of samples.
He told the Court that there was no field in Chemistry called fertilizer Chemistry and the Counsel asked “when you said ‘l am not an expert in fertilizer Chemistry’ did you mislead the court?” The witness disagreed.
The Counsel asked the witness, whether on the day the team was called to meet the Officials of EOCO, there was no discussion about the work they were supposed to do and Dr Osei-Twum said there was a discussion, which was centred on the scope of work.
Mr Nutsukpui said, according to the report Lithovit reacted vigorously with acid, “was that correct” and the witness said,” it was correct if it was applied on the field but for analysis that was not correct”.
He asked the witness, whether it was true as stated in the report, that lithovit had some benefits and the witness answered in the affirmative.
He said it reduced water requirement of the plant and it intensified growth and colourisation of the plant.
He said the report also indicated that lithovit fertilizer enhanced plants resistance against drought, insect, pest and fungi and it also enhanced the supply of essential micronutrients to the plant.
When asked, whether Lithovit fertilizer increased the metabolisation of magnesium of Chlorophyll and the degree of photosynthesis but the witness told the Court that the Counsel had combined two items.
The witness said it increased the metabolisation of magnesium in the form of Chlorophyll and also the degree of photosynthesis.
The Counsel asked the witness that, whether they were not supposed to carry out any toxicological assessment on the sample from EOCO, but the witness said it indicated that toxicological information was already on the MSDS.
Asked, whether due to his inability to carry out the toxicological assessment of the sample that was why he used the information on the MSDS but the witness disagree, saying “l am a scientist not a toxicologist.”
He said the information was already available and there was no need to reinvent the wheel.
It was on this note that Mr Nutsukpui ended this cross-examination of the fifth prosecution witness.
Prosecution is expected to introduce its sixth witness on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
Dr Opuni and Mr Seidu Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, wilfully 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 GHS300,000.00 self-recognisance bail each.