Court Rejects Opuni’s Application to Unfreeze Accounts
Criminal Court 4 of the Accra High Court, has thrown out an application by embattled former CEO of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Stephen Opuni, to defreeze his accounts.
According to the court, the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) has the right to protect the public purse and the need to balance the rights of individuals and the state, hence, upheld the decision to freeze Mr Opuni’s accounts.
However, the court, presided over by Justice Georgina Mensah Datsa, faulted EOCO for not acting on time, saying all the back-and-forth would have been halted if it had acted after citing Dr Opuni for financial malfeasance.
At the last appearance, Mr Samuel Cudjoe, lawyer for Dr Opuni, had accused EOCO of frustrating his client from accessing his bank accounts after freezing them for a second time.
“They have failed to show the account is tainted. EOCO has now not only become a monster but a Frankenstein,” Mr Cudjoe said at the Accra High Court on Tuesday, 15 May 2018.
Mr Opuni’s accounts were frozen by EOCO in 2017. The embattled CEO secured a court order in April 2018 to allow him access to the accounts – which was granted.
EOCO, however, went back to court 24 hours later via an ex parte motion, to secure an order to refreeze Dr Opuni’s accounts.
Dr Opuni is standing trial for causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GHS217 million through three separate fertiliser supply contracts between 2014 and 2016.