Agongo files stay of proceedings at Court of Appeal

Mr Benson Nutsukpui, the lawyer for businessman Seidu Agongo, has filed another motion for a stay of proceedings at the court of appeal, challenging the 25 February 2019 ruling of the high court that is hearing a case involving him and the former CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), Dr Stephen Opuni...


Mr Benson Nutsukpui, the lawyer for businessman Seidu Agongo, has filed another motion for a stay of proceedings at the court of appeal, challenging the 25 February 2019 ruling of the high court that is hearing a case involving him and the former CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), Dr Stephen Opuni.

This followed the dismissal of an earlier stay of proceedings motion by the high court on grounds that Mr Agongo's lawyers failed to provide special exceptional grounds to grant the application.

Mr Agongo's lawyers are appealing against the earlier ruling of the court presided over by Justice Clemence Y. Hornyenuga, in which he upheld an objection by the prosecution to Mr Nutsukpui's tendering of a CRIG committee report through the state's second prosecution witness, Dr Alfred Arthur.

The court ruled that since Dr Arthur was not at any point contacted or involved in the committee's work, it would be unfair for Mr Nutsukpui to tender that document through him.

But Mr Nutsukpui, in his defence, said Dr Arthur, throughout the trial, has responded to other documents, which he neither authored nor was party to.

He argued that the accused persons also had the right to confront the witness with documentation, the existence of which he denied, and, so, if such a document is coming from the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), it was a proper one that should be accepted.

But the court ruled against the tendering of the said document through Dr Arthur.

The lawyers for Mr Agongo on 1 March 2019 filed a motion for stay of proceedings pending the hearing of an appeal against the ruling. The motion was later heard on 18 March 2019. At that hearing, Mr Nutsukpui presented four exceptional circumstances that should warrant a review of the ruling.

But the court in its ruling on that day dismissed the motion compelling Mr Agongo's lawyers to move a notch higher to the court of appeal to file another motion to stay the proceedings.

It has been set for hearing on 6 May 2019.

However, the prosecution, led by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, said the date was too far and, so, filed an application for abridgement of time at the court of appeal, which will be heard on 2 April 2019.

Mr Nutsukpui, however, told the court on Wednesday, 27 March 2019 that they are yet to know the reasons for the prosecution's abridgement of time motion, as they have not been served.

Mr Sam Cudjoe, who is the lawyer for the first accused person, Dr Stephen Opuni, fully associated himself with the submissions of Mr Nutsukpui.

The DPP suggested that the counsel for both sides return on 3 April 2019 to inform the court about the outcome of the motion for abridgement of time hearing, but Mr Agongo’s lawyer argued that the timeframe was too short.

Consequently, the court adjourned the case to 8 April 2019 when the counsel would inform the court about the outcome of the hearing of the motion for abridgement of time.

Source: Ghana/ClassFMonline.com/91.3FM



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