Justice Clement Honyenuga, the High Court judge hearing the case involving former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has put the case on hold.
This follows a disagreement between lawyers of Dr Opuni and Deputy Attorney General Godfred Dame regarding a request made by the ex-CEO’s lawyers that they be furnished with documents the state intends relying on in prosecuting the case.
The trial judge, after hearing the arguments from both sides, decided to adjourn the case pending the determination of a similar motion filed in the case involving ex-NCA officials and the state.
In that case, the former Board Chair of the NCA, Baffoe Bonnie, and ex-Director General William Tevie, are also demanding the state to make available documents it intends to use in the prosecution.
Class 91.3FM’s Joshua Kojo Mensah, who was in court on Wednesday, 11 April, reported that: “The judge said since there is a similar case in the determination of Article 19 (2) (e) and (g) at the Supreme Court, he will be undermining the Supreme Court if he gives a judgement for or against the motion, and, so, he is waiting for the determination of the NCA case and the decision taken there will be binding on this particular one.”
Dr Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo, are facing 27 charges of willfully causing financial loss of GHS217million to the state, through three separate fertiliser supply contracts between 2014 and 2016.
The contracts were GHS43.1million (2013/2014 cocoa farming season), GHS75.3million (2014/2015 cocoa farming season) and GHS98.9million (2015/2016 cocoa farming season) totalling GHS217million through sole-sourcing, the state claimed, adding that procurement procedures for sole-sourcing were not followed.