Opuni’s trial postponed again; court needs certified S/C ruling

Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com| Oswald K Azumah| oswald.azumah@myjoyonline.com
Date: 11th-june-2018 Time:  1:49:01 pm

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The trial of former COCOBOD Chief Executive Stephen Opuni has been postponed again to allow the court to decide which specific documents should be handed over to Opuni’s lawyers.

The presiding judge, Justice Clemence Honyenuga, has set June 13 to make the decision, stating that he is yet to receive the certified Supreme Court ruling on a similar matter.

Dr Opuni’s lawyers are praying the court to make the Attorney-General hand over all the documents the prosecution will rely on, including names of witnesses and all other files including those that will not be tendered in as evidence be handed over to them.

This forced the High Court to put the case on hold pending the Supreme Court decision on the Republic versus some former bosses of the National Communications Authority in which the defendants made the same demand.

Supreme court 2017

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled last week that the state should hand over the requested documents but can withhold some in the public interest.

Read: SC orders A-G to hand over documents to NCA 5

Justice Honyenuga told the parties Monday that although he is aware of that ruling, he is yet to receive a certified copy which will enable him to determine which files should be handed over and which ones the A-G should hold on to.

He set Wednesday, June 13, to make the decision.

Dr Opuni alongside businessman Seidu Agongo have been charged with 27 counts including causing financial loss to the state, buying/selling of misbranded fertilizer and defrauding under false pretenses.

Hundreds of NDC faithful stormed the Accra Courts Complex earlier in March, when Dr Opuni debuted in court.

The mainly youthful throng, who were seen singing and drumming, told Joy News, they were bussed to the Courts complex by National Democratic Congress (NDC) executives.

NDC Opuni

“We know he is innocent and we are going to chant and sing his praises when he emerges out of the courtroom…that is why our musicians are here,” one young man said.

Freeze of accounts

Besides battling the state to prove his innocence, Dr Opuni has been in a different battle with the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to gain control of his accounts.

The accounts were frozen in 2017 when preliminary investigations commenced against the embattled politician.

A court ruling earlier this year, however, forced EOCO to defreeze the accounts only for them to freeze them again after two weeks. 

The court in a ruling backed the state agency this time, saying that, it is within their mandate to freeze the accounts.

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