Deputy AG prays for extension of time to file witness statements in Dr Opuni, others case

Dr Stephen Opuni
Dr Stephen Opuni

The State is praying for extension of time to file witness statements in the case of Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, former Chief Executive of COCOBOD and others.

At todays’ hearing at the High Court, Mr Alfred Tuah Yeboah, a deputy Attorney General, said some witnesses in the cases were unwilling to testify.

According to the deputy AG, a witness in the case contended that he was in the witness box for two years and another held that he was on retirement now.

He therefore prayed the court presided over by Mr Justice Kwasi Anokye Gyimah to grant them extension of time.
“We contacted witnesses, and they are unwilling to testify. One said he was in the witness box for two years and another said he was on retirement. We therefore need about 30 days,” he added.

Defence Counsel for Dr Opuni, Mr Samuel Cudjoe, did not oppose the prayer of the state.
Mr Benson Nutsikpi, who represented Seidu Agongo and his company Agricult Limited, did not oppose the state’s prayer.
The Court therefore adjourned the matter to June 7, 2023, for Case Management.

Meanwhile, the state is said to have filed a notice of appeal against the ruling of the High Court to start the trial from scratch.

In a notice of Appeal, the Attorney General argued that the trial judge Justice Kwasi Anokye Gyimah misdirected himself in the application of the principles regarding the adoption of evidence in a trial.

According to the AG, the decision of the court to re-start the trial de novo (afresh) had occasioned a miscarriage of justice.

The High Court had ruled to start the trial afresh because Justice Clemence Hoening was unable to exhaust the six months extension extended to him by the Chief Justice to complete the trial.

The matter was therefore reassigned to Justice Gyimah. The state wanted the trial judge to adopt the proceedings but defence counsels objected. The court then ruled to re-start the trial.

Dr Opuni and Seidu Agongo are standing trial on 27 counts of defrauding by false pretences, willfully causing financial to the state, money laundering and corruption by public officers in contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

They are accused of causing financial loss of over GHS217 million.
The accused persons have denied the charges and they are on GHS300,000 self-recognizance bail each.

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