Dr. Stephen Opuni
An error by some High Court officials has caused the adjournment of the trial involving Dr Stephen Opuni and two others of the Cocobod fertilizer scandal.
The bailiff was supposed to serve additional documents filed by the prosecution but failed to serve the parties involved in the matter, causing the adjournment.
The Court presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenugah, a Supreme Court Justice sitting as an additional High Court Judge, who wanted to address the situation, called for the Chief Bailiff and filing clerk to be in court.
After deliberations with the officers, the judge got to know that there was an error made by the filing officer, who happened to be a new person in the office.
The document filed on Thursday October 22, 2020 by the prosecution to be served on the parties was an additional work in respect to the sixth prosecution witness yet to be called.
On 27 October, 2020, when the case was called, the prosecution told the court that they had filed a document but the lawyers for Dr Opuni, Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited, said they were yet to be served.
It was on the premise of the above that the judge invited the court officials to explain why service was not made on the parties.
The judge has urged the Chief Bailiff to advise his subordinates to stop telling lies and work effectively in promoting justice delivery.
“I do not take my work lightly, l do not joke with my work and whoever works with me should learn to perform effectively,” he added.
He called on the officials to learn how to speak the truth and called on the Heads to continue to give further training to their subordinates to work effectively.
Early, Mrs Stella Ohene-Appiah, a Principal State Attorney, told the Court that with the realization that the parties were not served, efforts were made to have them served.
She said when the case was called on October 28, 2020, Samuel Cudjoe, Counsel for Dr Opuni informed her that when they returned to their office yesterday after court sitting, the document had been served on them.
“But Nutifafa Nutsukpui, Counsel for Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited said they have not been served with their copy,” she said.
She said when prosecution was trying to see the reasons why the parties were not served, they were informed that one set of the document could not be found by the Registrar and that had informed their decision to make available a copy to them this morning.
It was on this note that the prosecution prayed the court for a short adjournment to allow the parties have access to the documents.
Prosecution is expected to introduce its sixth witness on Thursday, November 5, 2020.
Dr Opuni and Seidu Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, wilfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by a public officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and are on a GHS300, 000.00 self-recognisance bail each.