New judge appointed for case involving Dr Opuni and others
The case of Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, former Chief Executive of COCOBOD and two others standing trial on 27 counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state, has been put before a new Judge.
Appearing before one of the Land Courts today, the prosecution led by Chief State Attorney (CSA) Mrs Evelyn Keelson entreated the court to adopt the previous court proceedings as starting the trial ‘De Novo’ would amount to an injustice.
The state contended that the matter had travelled to the Supreme Court and various rulings had been delivered.
It noted that it had closed its case two years ago and Dr Opuni had filed as many as 60 applications, adding that starting the case afresh would be a delay on the part of the accused person.
The defence counsel for Dr Opuni, Mr Samuel Cudjoe, opposed the prosecution’s prayer.
He contended that the state should file an application in respect of the trial so they could also file their response.
Cudjoe noted that the adoption of proceedings could be done in civil matters but not in criminal matters.
Mr Benson Nutsikpi who represented Seidu Agongo and his company, Agricult Limited, said that the practice should start de novo and the Supreme Court ruling was clear on such cases.
The trial Judge adjourned the matter to give further directions.
Dr Opuni and Seidu Agongo are standing trial on 27 counts of defrauding by false pretences, willfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering and corruption by public officers in contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
The accused persons have denied the charges and they are on GHC300,000 self-recognizance bail each.