Opuni Trial: Court dismisses submission to stay proceedings
An Accra High Court, hearing the case of Dr Stephen Opuni and two others has dismissed a submission of counsel for one of the accused Mr Samuel Cudjoe on an application to stay proceedings pending the determination of an interlocutory Appeal.
The Court presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenugah, a Supreme Court Justice sitting as an additional High Court Judge, said after hearing the parties, “it is my considered opinion that filing an application for stay of proceedings does not operate as an automatic stay.”
He said it was also his opinion that the rules cited by the first accused in CI.19 as amended are wholly unsupportable.
Earlier, when the case was called, Mrs Stella Ohene-Appiah told the court “they were served this morning with an application for stay of proceedings pending the determination of an interlocutory appeal which has been fixed for July 2nd at the Court of Appeal.”
She said per the information, prosecution did not bring its witness because their understanding was that when such applications are repeated at the Court of Appeal, the sitting for the day does not usually continue.
“My Lord we were also informed that the application has been brought to the attention of the court,” she said.
Mr Cudjoe supported the prosecution by saying indeed they have filed the application for stay of proceedings at Court of Appeal.
She said it was their position that so far as there was in an express provision of statute by way of subsidiary legislation, the court by virtue of the provision of rule 27(2) of CI 19, saying when an application is pending for determination under sub-rule (I) of this rule any proceedings for execution of the judgment or decision to which the application relates shall be stayed.
The court then said that it was not for parties to decide but rather the court.
He said they needed to appear in court and the court would decide, “I am not pleased at all, this case has dragged for some time.”
He said in the absence of the third prosecution witness, who is under cross examination, the case stands adjourned to July 6, 2020 for continuation
Dr Opuni and Mr Seidu Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, wilfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by public officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and are on a GH¢300,000.00 self-recognisance bail each.