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General News of Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Supreme Court removes Justice Honyenuga from hearing Opuni, Agongo case

Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga has been barred from hearing the Opuni, Agongo trial Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga has been barred from hearing the Opuni, Agongo trial

• Council for Dr Opuni had earlier appealed for Justice Honyenuga to be recused from his case on grounds of bias

• Supreme Court ruled that the application was substantial and hence issues Justice Honyenuga dismissed while hearing the case will be admitted.

• Dr Stephen Opuni and Seidu Agongo are standing trial for causing GHS217 million financial loss to the state



High Court judge hearing the case of former COCOBOD boss Dr Stephen Opuni and Seidu Agongo has been removed by the Supreme Court, classfmonline reports.

Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga was barred from further hearing the case following accusations of political bias against the defense, according to classfmonline’s report.

Lead Counsel for Dr. Stephen Opuni, Samuel Codjoe raised objections to the judge’s continuous sitting on the case after a viral video showed Justice Honyenuga in his stead as Torgbui Ashui Nyagasi V of the Nyagbo Traditional area commending then-candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during the latter’s tour of the Volta Region ahead of the elections.

Justice Hornyenuga is quoted to have said, “…we wish to congratulate you for the excellent manner you are governing this dear country of ours, it is our hope that with your vision and the gains made in your first term, Ghanaians may consider giving you another four years.”

The Lead Counsel for Dr Opuni intimated that the case against the COCOBOD boss and Seidu Agongo which was supposedly a criminal case had been transformed into a political one with some NPP stalwarts including a deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, backing the re-election bid of the incumbent government on the success of the case.

He proffered that the development made the judge unfit to continue the trial since his comments seemed to align with the aspirations of the incumbent party.

But reacting to the application by Dr Opuni’s counsel, Justice Honyenuga in his ruling on March 16, 2020, dismissed the motion for his recusal describing the motion as incompetent and misconceived.

He described the allegations of bias against him as “mere perceptions and exaggerated to suit the first accused and others” adding that “the allegations, the alleged comments are non-judicial and will not constitute bias or any other matter.”

The Supreme Court also ruled that issues Justice Honyenuga dismissed while hearing the case will be admitted.

The former COCOBOD CEO and businessman Seidu Agongo are in court for allegedly causing GHS217 million financial loss to the state following a case in connection with the purchase of fertiliser by the institution.

The trial has been ongoing since 2017.

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