Supreme Court sets July 28 to rule on Opuni’s application

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A five-member panel of the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse has set the 28th of this month to determine an application seeking the removal of Justice Clemence Honyenuga, from continuing the case in which the former CEO of COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Opuni, and two others are standing trial.

Lawyers for Dr. StephenO Puni, told the Supreme Court how one of the two evidence which gave contrasting accounts on the Lithovit fertilizer was rejected by Justice Clemence Honyenuga.

Moving the application for Justice Honyenuga, a Justice of the Supreme Court to be prohibited from trying the case, lead lawyer for the first accused person, Samuel Cudjoe told the court that a statement given by a farmer which said Lithovit fertiliser was good was rejected and another one which a farmer said Lithovit was bad was accepted.

He said the accused person senses a possible bias and suspects he would not be given fair hearing if the judge is allowed to continue with the case.

Lawyer Samuel Codjoe said the motion was to invoke the supervisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

They are asking for Certiorari to quash part of the decision by the High Court to dismiss their submission of no case and also prohibit the judge from going on to hear their case based on unfair comments and possible bias.

According to the lawyer, there is a breach of natural justice when they were not given the opportunity to be heard while rejecting some documents which strengthen the case of his client.

He contended that the court acted contrary to Section 8 of the Evidence Act, which requires a trial judge to hear the other party on objections to fulfil natural justice.

He also argued that they were not given enough time as per Article 19 of the 1992 Constitution which required an accused person to be offered adequate time and facility to prepare his defense.

Mr. Cudjoe said it is clear from the way the trial is being conducted that, the issue before the court has been predetermined and prejudged and so his client would not be given fair hearing.

Opposing the motion, Deputy Attorney General, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, submitted that the applicant has failed to meet the required threshold of the court to grant him his request.

According to him, no fundamental error has been occasioned which warrants the Supreme Court to grant his request as per the ruling on his submission of no case.

He argued that, in any event, the trial judge at that stage, was only deciding that, a prima facie case has been made and he was under a duty to evaluate the evidence before him.

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