The investigator in the trial of former COCOBOD boss and two others has revealed, rather shockingly, that a crack team of investigators travelled to
Germany to investigate lithovit fertilizer but returned without any written report.
Chief Inspector Thomas Prempeh Mercer told the High Court in Accra that the team comprising the Unit Commander of the Financial Forensics Unit
(FFU) of the CID as well as officials from the Attorney General’s Department rather came back with a “little sample” of fertilizer from Germany and
only briefed the rest of the team about the trip, but had no written report.
A letter from the then Attorney-General dated 20th August 2019 addressed to Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo nominated the FFU boss Regina Tenge as well as
Chief State Attorney Evelyn Keelson and Principal State Attorney Stella Ohene Appiah as the team that travelled to Germany to investigate Lithovit
fertilizer.
The investigator’s claim blew the mind of the counsel for the second and third accused who was suspicious that the prosecution was hiding something
from the court.
Chief Insp. Prempeh Mercer was testifying under cross-examination on Monday, March 29, 2021, in the trial of former COCOBOD Chief Executive
Dr. Stephen Opuni and businessman Mr. Seidu Agongo.
In refuting the investigator’s claim, lawyer Nutifafa Nutsukpui insisted that the team wrote a report on their findings when they visited the
manufacturer in Germany.
Initially, the investigator who is the seventh prosecution witness admitted that the team “returned with a report”, but recoiled when he was asked if he
reviewed the report.
“Did they also return with a report,” the lawyer asked the investigator.
His response was, “Yes My Lord, they returned with a briefing from the team that they met in Tribodyn in Germany and the team confirmed to the
investigators from Ghana that from 2014 up to 2016, they had supplied A2 and A3 quantity or large quantities of Lithovit foliar fertilizer in powdered
form. My Lord that is the summary of the report that they brought.”
He was then asked, “Sir, the report that you have just summarized did you review it yourself”
The witness answered, “My Lord, the briefing I had is what I just told the court.”
“So you want the honourable court to believe that the whole investigation team flew to Germany, brought back a sample of Lithovit but not a page of
written report?” lawyer Nutifafa Nutsukpui wondered.

Investigators who travelled to Germany over lithovit fertilizer didn’t write a report – CID man
https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Investigators-who-travelled-to-Germany-over-lithovit-fertilizer-didn-t-write-a-report-CID-m… 2/4
Chief Insp. Prempeh Mercer replied: “My Lord, the purpose of the travelling was to ascertain from the manufacturer if the Lithovit Foliar Fertilizer is
powder or liquid. My Lord, the manufacturer explained that from 2014 they have supplied A2 and A3 with Lithovit in powdered form being a
representative for Tribodyn in West Africa.”
But the lawyer put it to him further that a written report was brought back by the team that went to Germany.
“That is not correct My Lord, I have not seen any report. All I have is the sample that was handed over to me,” that’s according to the trial
investigator, Chief Insp. Prempeh Mercer.
Lawyer Nutifafa then suggested that the prosecution was hiding that report because it defeats the reason for being in court.
“Sir, the only reason that that report is not in evidence in this court is that it does not support your case. I’m putting that to you,” the lawyer
maintained but the witness rejected that assertion.
Read excerpts of the cross examination below:
Q: as part of the investigation, your unit commander, Chief Supt. Regina Tenge was part of an investigative team that visited the manufacturers of
Lithovit in Germany. That is correct.
A: Yes My Lord,
Q: Your Unit Commander was nominated by the Attorney-General at the time in a letter dated 20th August, 2019 addressed to Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo
and copied to your Unit Commander. That is correct.
A: My Lord. My Unit Commander was part of the investigating team that travelled to Germany but I am not privy to the document counsel is talking
about. All I know is that she was part of the team that visited the manufacturer, Tribodyn in Germany and returned with a little sample of the original
Lithovit foliar fertilizer in question today. Lithovit has always been powder and not liquid.
Q: Did they also return with a report.
A: Yes My Lord, they returned with a briefing from the team that they met in Tribodyn in Germany and the team confirmed to the investigators from
Ghana that from 2014 up to 2016, they had supplied A2 and A3 quantity or large quantities of Lithovit foliar fertilizer in powdered form. My Lord
that is the summary of the report that they brought.
Q: Sir, the report that you have just summarized did you review it yourself.
A: My Lord, the briefing I had is what I just told the court.
Q: So you want the honourable court to believe that the whole investigation team flew to Germany brought back a sample of Lithovit but not a page
of written report
A: My Lord, the purpose of the travelling was to ascertain from the manufacturer if the Lithovit Foliar Fertilizer is powder or liquid. My Lord, the
manufacturer explained that from 2014 they have supplied A2 and A3 with Lithovit in powdered form being a representative for Tribodyn in West
Africa.
Q: Sir, I am putting it to you that a written report was brought back by the investigation team that went to Germany.
A: That is not correct My Lord, I have not seen any report. All I have is the sample that was handed over to me.
Q: Sir, the only reason that that report is not in evidence in this court is that it does not support your case. I’m putting that to you.
A: My Lord, that is not correct. My Lord we have led evidence in this court to support our claim.
Q: And Sir, I am putting it to you that the manufactures never said that they supplied A2 with any quantities of Lithovit ever.
A: My Lord, that is not correct. Lithovit has always been supplied to A2 and A3 by Tribodyn.
Q: I am putting it to you that the manufacturers did confirm that they had recommended concentration by which Lithovit could be mixed or blended
by its distributors.
A: My Lord, since I don’t have the report I cannot confirm. But My Lord, this goes to confirm from what Counsel had said that Lithovit is indeed
powder.
Q: So I am putting it to you further that the manufacturer confirmed that the quantities of the Lithovit delivered to A3 between 2014 and 2016 if
blended as the manufacturer had recommended that will come to a minimum of 105 million litres of Lithovit.
A: My Lord, that I am not aware.
Q: As part of your investigations, you found out that A3 had been registered by the PPRSD to import and distribute Lithovit in Ghana.
A: Yes My Lord, in powdered form

Investigators who travelled to Germany over lithovit fertilizer didn’t write a report – CID man
https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Investigators-who-travelled-to-Germany-over-lithovit-fertilizer-didn-t-write-a-report-CID-m… 3/4
Q: Sir, are you familiar with Act 803 under which that registration was done.
A: No My Lord, but when this investigation was conducted to PPRSD, our investigation revealed that A2 and A3 have not been licensed to
manufacture agro chemicals in Ghana.
Q: Now, you told this court on the 8th of February, 2021 that when you visited the warehouse belonging to Sarago Ltd you saw Lithovit being mixed
with water manually. Is that correct Sir.
A: Yes My Lord.
Q: And this mixture was then put into bottles by a bottling plant.
A: Yes My Lord.
Q: And you told the court also that there was a large quantity of Lithovit imported from Germany in the said warehouse. Is that correct.
A: Yes My Lord.
Q: And Sir, it was this Lithovit that was being mixed.
A: Yes My Lord.
Q: You did not see this Lithovit from Germany being manufactured in that warehouse. Is that correct.
A: Yes My Lord.
Q: Sir. I am putting it to you that A3 is licensed under Act 803 to mixed or blend the Lithovit in Ghana.
A: Our investigation did not reveal that My Lord.
Q: And I am putting it to you further that the process you described to the honourable court as having seen in the said warehouse was actually a
process of blending and not a manufacturing
A: That is not correct My Lord.
Q: And I am putting it to you further that the manufacturer provided the scientific formula or basis for the blending.
A: My Lord, that I am not aware of. All I know in the course of this Lithovit investigation is that in applying the Lithovit unto the cocoa trees as
stated by the lead Scientist A.A. Afrifa, on the projected final report is to mix 50 grams of the Lithovit powder with 11 litres of water and that should
be done in the applying stage in the farm by using a mist blower or a spraying machine.
Q: As part of your investigations you found out that PPA will not grant an approval unless its requirements are met. Is that correct.
A: Yes My Lord. And the only approval given to A2 and A3 was to import and distribute.
Q: Did you find out also that at the PPA the approval is given by the board of PPA.
A: Yes My Lord.
Q: Kindly show him Exhibit V, what is Exhibit V.
A: It’s a letter from the PPA.
Q: Did you see this letter during your investigations, Sir.
A: Yes My Lord.
Q: And that Exhibit refers to a board meeting at which the PPA approval being conveyed by that Exhibit V was granted. That is correct Sir.
A: Yes My Lord.
Q: Now Sir, I am putting it to you that the Board of PPA granted that approval only after he had satisfied itself that PPA requirements had been met.
A: My Lord, that is not correct.
Q: Sir, on the 11th of January, 2021 you told this court that you have been with the FFU from its inception and that was about three years ago. Is that
correct.
A: Yes My Lord.

Investigators who travelled to Germany over lithovit fertilizer didn’t write a report – CID man
https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Investigators-who-travelled-to-Germany-over-lithovit-fertilizer-didn-t-write-a-report-CID-m… 4/4
Q: Sir, would you re-collect the month FFU came into being.
A: It will be in early 2017.
Q: Sir, will make it four years not three years is that correct.
A: Yes My Lord, in the beginning there was no office so we were working from our homes.
Q: sir, the mixture you saw at the warehouse was not tested by you as part of this investigation.
A: yes my Lord
Dr. Stephen Opuni and businessman Mr. Seidu Agongo are facing 27 charges including willfully causing financial loss to the state and contravention
of the Public Procurement Act.
Meanwhile, the prosecution closed it case on Monday, March 29 after counsel for the second and third accused persons ended cross examination of
the seventh prosecution witness.
Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga sitting with additional responsibility as High Court judged ordered defence
counsel to file their addresses by April 19. Prosecution is also expected to file response within two weeks

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here