Crime

COCOBOD financial loss case: Appeal against High Court’s ruling dismissed

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an interlocutory appeal filed against a high court’s ruling on tendering of documents through a prosecution witness in the trial involving Dr Stephen Opuni and one other.

 The high court earlier in February upheld an objection raised by the prosecution for documents to be tendered through its witness, Dr Alfred Arthur, a scientist at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, by the defence.

 The documents sought to be tendered through the prosecution witness were the reports of a committee and its attachment filed on the orders of the court.

 The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) set up the committee to investigate the circumstances that led to some pages missing from the documents filed in the case.

  However, the ruling did not go down well with the second accused, Seidu Agongo.

Consequently, his counsel, Mr Benson Nutsukpui, filed a motion for an appeal and a stay of proceedings on behalf of his client, Mr Seidu Agongo, the Chief Executive Officer of Agricult Ghana. 

 On Monday, March 18, the High Court dismissed the motion to stay proceeding pending the appeal at the Court of Appeal with the state also filing for an abridgement of time at the same court.

   Initially the original interlocutory appeal filed by Mr Nutsukpui was scheduled for May 6, 2019 but the Court of Appeal abridged the time to April 3.

 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 officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.

 They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and are on a GH¢300,000.00 each self-recognisance bail.

The case has been adjourned to Wednesday, April 17, for continuation. – GNA

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