Opuni-Agongo trial will no longer start afresh -Court of Appeal
The trial of former Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) CEO, Dr Stephen Opuni, will no longer start afresh.
This is because the Court of Appeal has in a unanimous decision ruled that the High Court got it wrong when it indicated that it will no longer rely on its records gathered since 2017.
The new Judge, Justice Kwasi Anokye Gyimah had indicated it would be unfair for him to adopt a proceeding that was “saddled” with numerous allegations.
The Attorney General (AG) was directed to file all evidence to be used in the trial once again.
The AG however took the matter to the Court of Appeal urging it to set aside this decision.
He argued that the Judge considered matters which were not relevant to reach this conclusion.
The Court of Appeal unanimously agreed with this position.
“We are persuaded the lower court misdirected itself and came to a wrong conclusion on the case. The decision of the High Court is referred to this court and Appeal is allowed in its entirety.
“The application for the judge to adopt previous proceedings is granted. The proceedings of the previous court presided over by Justice Honyenuga are to be adopted by the high court differently constituted. The registrar is ordered accordingly.”
The Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame told pressmen that it was important for cases whether high profile or everyday ones to be dealt with expeditiously.
He pointed out it was actually in the interest of the accused and the state that trial time is reduced.
“It is actually not unconventional for criminal proceedings to be adopted. We felt that the matters that were relied upon by the trial judge were actually with all respect to him not relevant.
“It will amount to giving the same evidence twice. What is there to fear? If a party conducts his case very well? It is only in this country that trial especially related to financial offences takes long to conclude. Such trials need to be concluded in no time”
Dr Opuni has been standing trial for causing financial loss to the state since 2017.
There is a good reason why you should support the African Editors. Not everyone can afford to pay for news right now. That is why we keep our journalism open for everyone to read, including in Ghana. If this is you, please continue to read for free. But if you are able to, then there are three good reasons to support us today.
1. Our quality, journalism is a scrutinising force at a time when the rich and powerful are getting away with more and more.
2. We are independent and have no billionaire owner pulling the strings, so your money directly powers our reporting.
3. It doesn’t cost much, and takes less time than it took to read this message.
Help power the African Editors' journalism for the years to come, whether with a small sum or a larger one. If you can, please support us on a monthly basis from just $2 through mobile money number: 0599896099/ +233059989609 and you can be rest assured that you’re making a big impact every single month in support of open, independent journalism. Thank you.