The National Democratic Congress (NDC), says the ruling of the Supreme Court to restore Justice Clemence Jackson Honynuga as a trial judge in the prosecution of former COCOBOD boss, Dr. Stephen Opuni, is a clear case of travesty of justice.
In an eight-page statement, the party said Dr. Opuni was being denied justice because “the State has been given an advantage that has been denied the accused persons.”
The Attorney General, Godfred Dame, had filed for the review following a majority decision upholding an argument of bias against Justice Honyenuga.
In the review application, the Attorney General argued that the decision of the ordinary bench contained errors that resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
The former COCOBOD CEO and Agricult Ghana Limited CEO, Seidu Agongo, are standing trial together with Agricult Ghana Limited for allegedly causing the state to lose over GHS 217 million in a cocoa fertilizer transaction.
Dr. Opuni and Mr. Agongo are facing 27 charges including defrauding by false pretences, wilfully causing financial loss to the state, money laundering, corruption by public officers, and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
Justice Hoeyenuga had excluded 18 exhibits that had been accepted in evidence without any objection from any of the parties.
“The excluded exhibits supported the case of Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, Seidu Agongo and Agricult, as they demonstrated the falsity of the claims of the prosecution that the lithovit fertilizer COCOBOD purchased from Agricult was not of good quality,” the NDC contended.
“Strangely, similar exhibits tendered through the same investigator through whom the 18 excluded exhibits were tendered and which suggested that lithovit fertilizer was inefficaciously retained by the Judge without proferring any justification for his unequal and partial treatment of the exhibits that were adduced in evidence in identical circumstances.”
The NDC is also upset that the Attorney General, after the delivery of the ruling of the review panel, described the initial ruling in favour of Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni as “an aberration of justice” and that Dr. Opuni was running away from “Judgment Day”.
“We in the NDC are confident that if the words uttered by the Attorney General had been said by other lawyers they would have earned an invitation to the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council for breaches of the ethical rules of the Bar.”