Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, the former Chief Executive of Ghana COCOBOD, who is standing trial for allegedly causing financial loss of GH¢217 million in a fertiliser deal, has filed a notice of appeal and motion to stay proceedings.
The two applications were in respect of the ruling by the Criminal Division “one” of the Accra High Court that ordered him and MrSeiduAgongo, a businessman, and co-accused, to open their defence.
Dr Opuni was expected to open his defence yesterday in accordance with the ruling of the high court.
However, when the case was called, MrSamuel Codjoe, counsel for Dr Opuni, told the court presided over by Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenugah, a Supreme Court Judge sitting with additional responsibility as High Court Judge, that his client was indisposed.
Counsel filed the medical report of Dr Opuni, which stated that the accused was referred by the University of Ghana Medical Centre to see a specialist.
Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), told the court that she had been served with a copy of the notice of appeal and motion to stay proceedings by MrCodjoe.
The DPP said that the counsel for Mr Agongo, Nutifafa Nutstupkui, also gave an indication to file the same applications on Monday.
But, Mrs Obuobisa said the report appeared to be vague because it did not give any time to guide proceedings.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to May 26 for hearing of the motion.
Counsel for the accused filed separate submissions of no case after the office of the Attorney-General closed its case a few weeks ago.
Dr Opuni through his counsel, MrCodjoe, argued that, he has no case to answer on the “basis that no evidence has been led by the prosecution to establish any or all of the ingredients of the offences for which 1st accused is standing trial.”
Seidu Agongo and his Agricult Ghana Limited, the company that entered into the Lithovit transaction and for which reason it has been charged alongside the owner (Agongo), are arguing that, “while there is generally no evidence against the second accused (Seidu Agongo), what little evidence the prosecution purported to have offered against the 3rd accused person (Agricult Ghana Limited) on any of the charges had been very much discredited during cross-examination or otherwise so manifestly unreliable.This renders any such evidence of the prosecution unsafe so that the court cannot reasonably or safely rely on same to convict the applicants herein in the absence of an explanation from them.”
In opposing the submissions of no case, made by the accused, Mrs Obuobisa argued that, prosecution adduced sufficient evidence to compel Dr Opuni, and Seidu Agongo, and his Agricult Ghana Limited, to open their defence.
It was the case of the A-G that the state was able to prove all the elements in the 27 charges levelled against Dr Opuni, Agongo and Agricult.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges and are currently on GH¢
300,000 self-recognisance bail each.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA