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Court of Appeal Reverses Decision To Start Trial Of Opuni Afresh

The High Court in Accra’s decision to reopen the trial of Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, the former head of COCOBOD, and businessman Seidu Agongo has been overturned by the Court of Appeal.

On Monday, July 3, 2023, a three-member panel of the court ruled unanimously that the trial High Court made a mistake by refusing to adopt the previous proceedings of the previous Court, which was led by retired Supreme Court Justice Clemence Honyenuga.

Dr. Opuni, the former CEO of Cocobod, and Seidu Agongo, a businessman and the CEO of the agro-chemical company Agricult Ghana Limited, have been on trial since 2018 for allegedly causing the state to lose more than GH271 million through the purchase of Lithovit Foliar fertilizer.

The prosecution has maintained its position that the fertilizer was of poor quality throughout the nearly six-year trial and has accused Seidu Agongo of allegedly selling fertilizer to COCOBOD fraudulently. After Justice Clemence Honuenuga retired in March 2023, the newly retired Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah, assigned a new judge to the case, Justice Kwasi Anokye Gymah.

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The prosecution then submitted a plea to the High Court asking that it adopt the earlier court procedures in the case that Justice Honyenuga had been hearing for almost six years.

After Justice Clemence Honuenuga retired in March 2023, the newly retired Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah, assigned a new judge to the case, Justice Kwasi Anokye Gymah. The prosecution then submitted a plea to the High Court asking that it adopt the earlier court procedures in the case that Justice Honyenuga had been hearing for almost six years.

However, in a decision on April 4, 2024, the High Court ordered that the trial be reopened, noting that it would be unfair for him to use the previous court’s procedures, which had been burdened with various claims. The High Court’s decision to reopen the case was then challenged by the Attorney General in an appeal to the Court of Appeal on the grounds that it violated the standards of a fair trial.

Ato Nketsiah is a news personality based in Takoradi-Ghana. He has passion to write to educate, entertain and motivate people around the globe. Contact me at [email protected] for advertisements and business promotions.

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