The former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Dr Stephen Opuni, and two others have indicated that they have filed a notice of an Appeal and motion for stay of proceedings to be heard on May 27, 2021.

This was after an Accra High Court ordered Dr Stephen Opuni and two others, to open their defence in the ongoing trial.

The Court presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenuga. In his ruling, on a submission of no case, the prosecution had succeeded in proving the essential ingredients in the charges levelled against the accused persons except for three charges on money laundering.

He said the Court was convinced that this matter was very sensitive and prosecution had been able to make a prima facie case against the accused persons.

When the case was called on Monday, Samuel Cudjoe, the Counsel for Dr Opuni, explained the defendant’s absence from the Court, indicating it was for medical reasons.

“We have a letter from the University of Ghana Medical Center evidencing the fact that Dr Opuni was referred to see the facility by another Specialists,” he said.

Madam Yvonne Attakora Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecution, said the prosecution just got a copy of the medical report and having a look at the letter, “it looked vague, it does not give specific date and time the accused would be present in court”.

She said the letter did not give any further information to guide the Court and that it should have been addressed to the Court Registrar.

The Director prayed that the date and time be abridged forward for the motion to be heard before the Appeal process.

Nutifafa Benson, the Counsel for Seidu Agongo, CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited and one other, said they had not been served. Still, regarding the medical issues of the accused person, “we pray the Court to consider him to enable him to obtain the needed medical assistance.”

Justice Honyenuga said having served with a copy of the letter, Dr Opuni was being excused from attending Court on Monday 17, 2021.

He said both parties had agreed for the date to be abridged for the said motion, therefore, the date for the motion had been fixed; May 26, 2021.

Dr Opuni and Mr 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 ¢300,000 self-recognisance bail, each.