Opuni case: AG makes a case for a new trial judge
Making the case in court on Thursday, February 23, Deputy Attorney General, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah noted that the extension given to the trial Judge, Honyenuga JSC is almost due
The Attorney General has prayed for the COCOBOD case between the state and former CEO, Dr. Stephen Opuni, and one Seidu Agongo to be referred to the Chief Justice for a panel reconstitution.
Making the case in court on Thursday, February 23, Deputy Attorney General, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah noted that the extension given to the trial Judge, Honyenuga JSC is now limited and the first accused is yet to close its case.
As a result, he told the court presided over by Justice Honyenuga to without any prejudice, refer the matter to the Chief Justice for the reconstitution of the panel in the interest of justice and fairness.
Justice Clemence Honyenuga has been sitting for over four years as an additional High Court Judge overseeing the case between the Republic against Dr. Stephen Opuni and Seidu Agongo before his retirement.
Therefore pursuant to Article 145 of the 1992 Constitution, the Chief Justice of the Republic gave Justice Honyenuga six months per the powers bestowed on him under Article 139(1) (c) extension to enable him to continue to preside on the case.
The prayer by the Attorney General thus comes almost ten (10) to the expiration of the above extension given to the sitting judge.
Opuni’s application against retired Honyenuga(JSC)
On Monday, November 14, the court presided over by retired Justice Honyenuga dismissed an application filed by Dr. Stephen Opuni which sought to restrain him from continuing to preside on his case despite his retirement.
Moving the motion, counsel for Dr. Opuni deemed the exercise of the Chief Justice’s discretionary powers in the above as unconstitutional as done per Article 144(11).
According to him, such powers relative to the extension of tenure of Supreme Court Justices do not fall under the remit of the Chief Justice powers because he is not the appointing authority rather it is only the president who can exercise such powers.
Subsequently, Dr. Opuni filed a motion to set aside the above ruling but failed again on this score.
Following this, the former COCOBOD CEO went to the apex court to challenge the decision of the trial High Court relative to the constitutionality of the sitting of retired Justice Honyenuga on the financial loss case against him and another.
However, the ordinary bench of the court on January 24, dismissed the application.
Owing to the above, he filed a review against this decision. Moving the review motion, the lawyer for Opuni, Samuel Kudjo, noted among others that the ordinary bench erred when it held per Ex parte Daniel on page 13 of its ruling that the Chief Justice has the power to extend the tenure of a judge who has retired.
The trial High Court has meanwhile adjourned to March 1, 2023, after listening to the Attorney General’s request in waiting for the outcome of the above application of the first accused person at the Supreme Court.