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Justice Honyenuga was just waiting to sentence Opuni – Lawyer tells SC

Lawyers of the former Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) CEO have told the Supreme Court not to set aside its decision to bar Justice Clemence Honyenuga from hearing his criminal trial.

They say the Judge had made up his mind that Dr Stephen Opuni is guilty and determined to just go through the ritual of trial while waiting to pronounce the sentence.

“He had made his mind and was going through the rituals while waiting to pronounce sentence”, lead Counsel for Dr Opuni, Samuel Codjoe, told the court.

In a close call 3-2 decision in July this year, the Supreme Court restrained Justice Clemence Honyenuga from hearing the case.

Justice Honyenuga, a Justice of the Supreme Court, has since 2017 been hearing the case as an additional High Court judge.

In July 2021, Dr Opuni’s lawyers applied to the Supreme Court, asking that it restrains Justice Honyenuga from hearing the matter.

Justice Honyenuga was just waiting to sentence Opuni - Lawyer tells SC

He alleged that his right to be heard fairly had been breached by the Judge aside from a demonstration of bias.

The allegations flowed from Justice Honyenuga’s ruling on a submission of no case application.
Dr Opuni’s lawyers contend the judge committed an error of law when he rejected some documents submitted as evidence.

These are witness statements said to have been obtained by the state during investigations. One is the Head of the Cocoa Research Institute, denying being coerced to do his work.

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