Court orders doctor to produce records of Dr Opuni

An Accra High Court has ordered the Medical Director of Saint Lucy Eye Clinic to appear in court with records on Dr Stephen Opuni, former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD.

Dr Opuni and two others are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, willfully causing financial loss to the State, money laundering, and corruption by public officer in contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

The Medical Director, Dr Kodjo Abalo, issued a medical report on behalf of Dr Opuni, which said that he had four surgeries performed on his left eye and needed a six-week excuse duty to rest and heal properly.

They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and are on a GH¢300,000.00 self-recognizance bail, each.

Mr Samuel Cudjoe, Counsel for Dr Opuni, told the court presided over by Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, a Supreme Court Justice, sitting as a High Court Judge, that Dr Opuni was absent due to ill health.

He said the accused person had four different surgeries done on his left eye and a copy of the medical report had been presented to the Court.

The Counsel said as contained in the report, he was to be excused for six weeks to rest his eyes to heal properly, hence his inability to be present in court.

He told the Court that at the last adjourned date, he had the report, but he only showed it to the prosecution due to the details and confidentiality, he did not give them a copy.

“We, therefore, pray for an adjournment from September 23, 2022,” he said.

He said the basis of seeking the adjournment was because Dr Opuni was exercising his Constitutional rights under Article 19 (3).

Mr Cudjoe said the Court would not be doing anything wrong if it adjourned the matter.

Mrs Evelyn Keelson, Chief State Attorney, told the Court that Dr Opuni, who is on bail, was required to be present in court as undertaken in his bail conditions to the court.

She said, “I have seen the medical report indicating that Dr Opuni had undergone four surgeries on the left eye and in the report, the Medical Director had said he needs six-weeks to rest the eye for proper healing.”

The Chief State Attorney said the statement made by the Medical Director was not binding on the Court.

She said the Director did not indicate the basis for the six weeks in the report.

Mrs Keelson said under Section 169(2) of Act 30 of the Constitution, the Court could not adjourn the matter more than a month.

“l pray that the court invite the Medical Director Dr Kodjo Abalo of the St Lucy Eye Clinic to give further and better particulars for his request for Dr Opuni to be excused for six weeks,” she added.

She said alternatively, the Court could create virtual means to accommodate the Accused person, indicating that nobody had taken away or sought to take away Dr Opuni’s rights under Article 19(3) to be present at his trial.

Mrs Keelson said the Court could at its own discretion proceed with the matter without infringing on his rights, adding that the Court could grant Dr Opuni some days to rest but certainly not six weeks, especially when he was not on admission.

The Judge, after listening to the parties, said under the circumstances of the case, it was his view that to clear any doubt about the medical report, “l will order the Medical Director, Dr Abalo to appear in court with all records on Dr Opuni.

The Registrar of the court is to ensure that the order is served on the said Medical Director per the address stated in the report.

Case is adjourned to Monday October 17, 2022 at 10am

Source: GNA

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