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General News Mon, 21 May 2018

Court dismisses application to unfreeze Opuni’s accounts

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An Accra High Court has dismissed an application by lawyers of former Chief Executive of COCBOD, Stephen Opuni to unfreeze his accounts frozen by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

The Presiding Judge, Justice Georgina Mensah Datsa while dismissing the application said EOCO was carrying out its task of protecting state funds.

Justice Datsa, despite ruling in EOCO’s favour criticized them, describing their handling of the matter as "not following due process".

She, however, said, “the mandate of EOCO must be respected by the court”.

Speaking to journalists after the ruling Monday, one of the lawyers of Dr Opuni, Victor Adawudu said they will immediately apply for a copy of the ruling so they can properly advise their client [Opuni].

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“…we will look at the reasoning, then from there we can advise our client,” he said.

Mr Adawudu also made the point that since the court earlier ordered the defreezing of the accounts, this new ruling has put the court in a difficult position.

“That same court has made two different orders so which does she validate and which one is she saying is not right. So the court itself is put in a difficult situation…” he said.

This is the second time the anti-crime organisation has frozen Opuni’s accounts. The accounts were first frozen in 2017 when investigations commenced against him.

The court had earlier in April this year ordered EOCO to defreeze the accounts after hearing the arguments of Opuni’s lawyers.

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EOCO has since frozen the accounts again causing Dr Opuni to go back to court.

Dr Stephen Opuni is facing trial alongside businessman Seidu Agongo on 27 counts including buying and selling of misbranded fertilizer products and causing financial loss to the state.

When convicted, the accused persons could face up to 25 years imprisonment, Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo has hinted.

Source: Myjoyonline.com
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