The Accra High Court’s Criminal Court 1 has dismissed a second appeal by the lawyer representing Dr. Stephen Opuni, the former Executive Director of the Ghana Cocoa Board COCOBOD, to have the sitting judge, Clemence Honyenuga, remove himself from his client’s ongoing trial.
Attempts by Dr. Opuni to have the presiding judge withdraw himself from the trial, according to the court, are intentional and planned attempts to postpone the trial and gain public sympathy.
In response to accusations of bias leveled against him, Justice Clemence Honyenuga stated that the accuser failed to give clear legal reasons to support the claim, resulting in the dismissal.
The court further ruled that the accused person’s claim in his affidavit that the Judge had showed open enmity towards him was a plain fabrication.
In June 2021, Dr. Stephen Opuni attempted for the first time to have Justice Clemence Honyenuga removed from the case.
The case ended up before the Supreme Court, where it was dismissed.
Dr. Stephen Opuni and a businessman, Seidu Agongo, are on trial for allegedly causing the state to lose $217 million in funds.
In the meanwhile, the court has ordered that witness statements be filed with any other papers by January 10, 2022.
The court further stated that the accused persons’ cross-examination would be limited to two days.
Proceedings have been continued until Monday, January 10, 2022, after the lawyer for the first accused individual, Samuel Codjoe, received a two-week medical excuse.