COCOBOD trial: Opuni absent from court on medical grounds

The much-awaited opening of defence by the former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, who is standing trial together with two others for causing financial loss to the state could not come on.

This is because the first accused Dr Opuni was absent from court on medical grounds.

Dr Opuni, who on May 7, had his submission of no case dismissed and was ordered to mount the docket and open his defence on Monday, May 17.

Lawyer for  the first accused, Samuel Codjoe, told the court that, his client, (Dr Opuni) is not in court  because of a medical issue and they have a letter from the university of Ghana Medical Centre to that effect.

Counsel for Dr Opuni Samuel Codjoe told the court presided over by Justice Clement Honeyenugah, a Justice  of the court of Appeal sitting with additional responsibility as a high court judge that his client has conducted two test and hope that the outcome would be known within a day or two.

The Prosecution led by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakorah Obuobisah, told the court that she has just been given a copy of the said medical report by counsel for the accused to explain why his client is not in court.

She said that the letter appears to be rather vague in that it does not give any specific time. Also the said letter is not addressed to the registrar of the court and does not give any specific time to guide the sitting of the Court.

Lawyer for Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited, Nutifafa Nutsukpi holding brief for Benson Nutsukpi told the court that since it has to do with medical issue, Dr Opuni should be indulged.

The DPP also drew the court’s attention to the fact that the accused persons have filed a notice of appeal against the dismissal of their submission of no case which was dismissed and a motion for stay of proceedings pending appeal.

She said the returned date has been fixed for the 27th of this month. The judge said having been served with a copy of the medical report of Dr Opuni, his absence has been considered.

The court said that the parties have indicated that they have filed notices of appeal and also motion for stay of proceedings fixed for the same day.

Both the DPP and counsel for the accused persons have consented to abridge the time for the hearing of the said motions to the 26th of this month.

By: Yvonne Asare Offei.

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