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General News of Thursday, 12 April 2018

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Court to rule on Dr Opuni’s motion April 30

A Land Division of the High Court on Wednesday adjourned a ruling on a motion filed by Dr Stephen Opuni, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, demanding documents the prosecution would be relying on at the trial.

The court presided over by Justice Clemence Hornyenuga, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court Judge said the issue of article 19, which calls for fair trial of parties in a case was thorny one.

He said his attention had been drawn to similar one involving the NCA case before the Supreme Court, so it was only proper to wait on the decision of the Supreme Court for the High Court to determine the one before it.

The Court, therefore adjourned the case to Monday, April 30 to rule on the motion.

Mr Samuel Cudjoe, the Counsel for Dr Opuni earlier argued that his client was entitled to all the documents, the State would rely on for the prosecution, saying he was relying on Article 19(2) (e) and (g) of the 1992 Constitution.

He said per a true and proper interpretation of Article 19(2) (e) and (g) of the 1992 Constitution, the accused person was entitled as of right to copies of all documents including the contracts and numerous letters referred to by the Prosecution.

He said in all the accused was seeking to access about 13 prosecution documents including the contract for the procurement of fertilizers entered into by COCOBOD between 2008 and 2017.

He said with the documents the accused would be able to mount a better defence if he was furnished with these documents.



Mr Godfred Dame, the Deputy AG opposing the motion described most of the request in the motion application as irrelevant.

According to him, the State was not bound by law to provide these documents as requested because the case was one of a summary trial rather than a trial on indictment.



He said the accused person was only entitled to relevant evidence and not all the documents they have demanded and that they would only give documents they need.

He said instead of the defence counsel confronting the matter, “he is engaging in shadow boxing.”



Mr Odame said the application was not supported by any human rights law as referred to by the defence lawyers.

The Deputy Attorney General prayed the court not to grant the application, saying it was unfounded and should not see the light of day.



Dr Opuni former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD had been charged with 27 counts of offences including causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretenses, with an accomplices being AGRICOT Company and its chief executive, Seidu Agongo.

On Monday, March 27, the court granted a self-recognisance bail to Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo in the sum of GH¢300,000.00 each.