Not only was the content of the application “disgusting”, according to the trial judge, but the affidavit, in part, shows that Dr. Opuni has been hallucinating in his court.
“What is most disgusting is the allegation that I stated in open court that the first accused’s witness cannot exonerate him, the first accused can never underrate my intelligence, my integrity and my long judicial career, the perusal of the records of proceedings of 9th December 2021 do not reflect what the first accused stated,” the judge flared up.
According to him, this and previous applications by the accused to get him out was “to court public sympathy and are never the realities in the court”.
Justice Honyenuga has for the past four years been hearing the criminal trial against Dr. Opuni and two others with additional responsibility as a High Court judge. Dr. Opuni made a third unsuccessful attempt to remove the judge from the case for allegedly exhibiting bias and showing hostility towards him in court.
The latest attempt was heard on Thursday, December 16, 2021 by the judge himself. His ruling in dismissing the application has raised eyebrow with legal luminary Prof. Stephen Kwaku Asare asking that Honyenuga is “disqualified from hearing the case”.
Justice Honyenuga who appeared incensed by Dr. Opuni’s claims as contained in the affidavit, suggested that Dr. Opuni lied and advised that he “must learn to speak the truth because his ocular observation is different from the majority of us who were in the court room”
According to the judge, the accused might have been dreaming in court during proceedings.
“I think that the first accused must have been hallucinating when DW1 (First Defence Witness) gave evidence because no such thing happened as the first accused has stated in paragraph 17 in his affidavit in support.”
Justice Honyenuga also said the allegation that he banged files and refused to hear counsel for the first accused when he had issues with hearing dates imposed by the court “is the imagination of the first accused and a blatant lie calculated to throw dust in the eyes of everyone.”
He further ruled, “It is my candid opinion that the first accused is crying wolf where there is none. He could not prove the reason why I should recuse myself from the case, when I have guided this case from 2018…
“In conclusion, the application is malicious, mischievous, frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process, and well calculated to further delay expedited, efficient and fair hearing of this case.”
Former Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Stephen Opuni, businessman Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Company Limited, are facing about 27 charges of willfully causing financial loss of ¢217 million to the state, through three separate fertiliser supply contracts between 2014 and 2016.
They have pleaded not guilty to all the charges and are on self-recognition bail of ¢300,000 each.
Source: Daily Mail GH