Presiding judge for the case involving former Chief Executive officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Stephen Opuni has expressed shock at the failure of the second defense witness to show up for cross-examination.
Counsel for Dr Opuni, Samuel Cudjoe told the court that the second defense witness, Samuel Tobi had sent an excuse duty from Ridge Hospital citing that he had been detained at an emergency ward.
He noted that the hospital refused to provide medical records of Mr Tobi stating that they could only do so at the request by the court with an order.
Counsel for Businessman Seidu Agongo who is standing trail with Dr Opuni, also said she had seen the excuse duty and had no reservations.
But reacting to the development, Chief State Attorney Evelyn Kielson said she was surprised at the sudden turn of events since the witness appeared to be in very good health a few days prior.
She queried why the excuse duty did indicate the ailment the witness was suffering from to which lawyer Cudjoe said it was an issue of confidentiality.
Justice Honyenugah after hearing the submissions of both divides also expressed surprise at the turn of events since witness appeared ‘very energetic’.
He noted that it seemed Witnesses for Dr Opuni always fall sick during cross examination, adding that the first defence witness also got sick within the same period and case had to be adjourned.
Justice Honyenugah again stressed that nothing is hidden from the court in terms of ailment or otherwise hence was surprised no details were given on the excuse duty.
He adjourned the case to May 23 after lamenting that the case had been going on for 4 years without end.
Dr Opuni and Seidu Agongo are facing 27 charges including defrauding by false pretences, willfully 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 self-recognizance bail, each.
By Laud Adu Asare|3news.com|Ghana