Fish out documents for Dr Opuni – High Court orders

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
Dr Opuni (arrowed) interacting with his lawyers
Dr Opuni (arrowed) interacting with his lawyers

The Accra High Court has ordered investigators in Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni’s trial to fish out certain documents and furnish the accused with those documents.

That was after lawyers for the accused complained to the court that the Attorney General had failed to make efforts to furnish them with certain documents that would facilitate the defence of their client.

Per the court’s order, the investigators must get hold of the documents and file it at the court registry on or before July 13, 2018.

Hearing continues on July 16, 2018

Fight for documents

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Dr Opuni and a businessman, Seidu Agongo, were dragged to court for allegedly engaging in various illegalities in a series of fertilizer deals which cost financial loss of Gh¢271.3 to the state.

The quest for prosecution documents by lawyers for the accused had stalled the commencement of the actual trial.

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The disagreement over documents ended up in the Supreme Court, where the court gave accused persons the green light to have access to prosecution documents.

In view of the Supreme Court’s decision, the High Court hearing the case ordered the AG to release the documents Opuni requested.

More documents

At last Thursday’s hearing, lead counsel for the Dr Opuni, Mr Samuel Cudjoe, informed the court that the AG had released certain documents, but he still needed more documents

The documents, he said, included documents regarding all documents since 2018, as well as certain documents by some COCOBOD officials.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice Clemence Honyenuga, ordered the A-G to do everything within its power to get the accused the documents.

But at Monday’s hearing, a Chief State Attorney, Mrs Evelyn Keelson, informed the court that the AG did not have the documents.

She also argued that the documents were also not relevant to the case and the demand for the documents was attempts by the defence counsel to delay the trial.

Mr Cudjoe, however, disagreed and argued that his client was anxious to see the trial start.

He also wondered why the A-G would describe the documents as irrelevant when it had not seen them.

In order to ensure expeditious trial and also in the interest of justice, the judge ordered the investigators to fish out the documents so that the accused could get access to them.