Opuni case will not start De novo- Court of Appeal overturns ruling
In a unanimous judgment given by the three-member panel, which included Justices Jennifer Dadzie and Dr Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, the appellate court held among others that the High Court misdirected itself
The Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Philip Bright Mensah has upheld an appeal filed by the Attorney General against a High Court ruling for the trial of former COCOBOD CEO, Dr Stephen Opuni and Seidu Agongo to start afresh.
The High Court presided over by Justice Kwasi Anokye Gyimah, in April this year, ruled that "In order for the court to have a first-hand information of the trial and the demeanor of witnesses, the court will start the trial 'De Novo."
This was however opposed by the Attorney General, who went to the Court of Appeal.
In a unanimous judgment given by the three-member panel, which included Justices Jennifer Dadzie and Dr Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, the appellate court held among others that the High Court misdirected itself by deciding not to adopt the previous proceedings.
The court subsequently, ordered the High Court to adopt the records and continue with the trial from where it ended.
Dr. Opuni and Agongo, the CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited, are on trial for allegedly engaging in illegalities in a series of fertilizer transactions which the Attorney-General (A-G) says caused a financial loss of GH¢271.3 million to the state.
They were thus dragged to court by the A-G in March 2018 on 27 charges, including willfully causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretense, contravention of procurement laws, corruption of a public officer, and money laundering.
After about five years of presiding over the case, Justice Clemence Honyenuga went on retirement thus the case was transferred to Justice Kwasi Anokye Gyimah who gave the ruling upon an application filed by the accused persons.