COCOBOD Trial: Opuni fails to open defence due to ill-health

Dr Stephen Opuni, who is standing trial with two others for allegedly causing financial loss to the state, is unwell

The former CEO of COCOBOD, Dr Stephen Opuni, on Monday 17 May 2021 failed to open his defence in court in the COCOBOD trial due to ill-health.

Opuni is standing trial with two others for allegedly causing financial loss to the state.

According to led counsel for the first accused, Samuel Cudjoe, Opuni is seeking medical attention at the University of Ghana Medical Center.

“We have a medical report from the University of Ghana Medical Center referring my client (Stephen Opuni) to see a specialist. This explains his absence from court this morning,” Cudjoe told Justice Clemence Hoyenuga.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, however noted that the report is rather vague with no specific timelines set out in it as is the norm with such reports from a medical officer.

However, Cudjoe told the court he is hopeful that within the next two days, his client should be able to complete his medical engagements.

Stay of proceedings

Before the ruling of the court, the DPP drew the attention of the court to the fact that the accused persons (Stephen Opuni, Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited) have filed a stay of proceedings at the High Court pending the determination of an application they have filed at the Court of Appeal challenging the ruling of the High Court that dismissed their submission of no case application on the 7th of May 2021.

The date set by the High Court registry for the stay of proceedings application to be moved is 26 May 2021.


Dr Opuni, Seidu Agongo and Agricult Ghana Limited are standing trial for 27 charges of causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretences, conspiracy to commit crime, abetment of crime, money laundering, corruption by public officer and contravention of the PPA Act.

Together, they are accused of causing a financial loss of over GHc217 million to the state through the sale and purchase of the controversial Lithovit Liquid Fertilizer which the the prosecution says was never tested.

Wilberforce Asare

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