Judge Accused Of Bias In Opuni Case Refuses To Recuse Self

Justice Clemence Hornyenuga, the judge hearing the case involving former Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, has refused to recuse himself from the case after he was accused for the second time of bias.

In response to the request of Dr. Opuni and his Lawyers that he makes way for a fairer judge to sit on the case, Clemence Hornyenuga dismissed the application, accusing the Applicants of bad faith.

He has adjourned the case to June 18, making himself the unwelcomed fixture as a judge who cannot be trusted to deliver justice.

Justice Clemence Hornyenuga’s appointment to the Supreme Court by President Akufo-Addo was met with f controversy in Parliament because of what is seen as political and sycophantic praise that he showered on the President ahead of his appointment.

Since Justice Hornyenugah has been perceived as a pro-NPP judge, and this perception was the first basis on which Dr. Opuni requested that he recuse himself from the case in which he and businessman, Seidu Agongo, are being tried for allegedly causing financial loss to the tune of US$217million.

When Justice Hornyenugah refused to recuse himself the first time, Dr. Opuni and his Lawyers appealed at the Supreme Court, but a five-member panel chaired by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah dismissed the, saying it lacked merit. 

This was in March 2020.

Then, after the Prosecution in the Opuni case had finished presenting its case, Dr. Opuni and his lawyers had made a submission of no case, but the trial judge had said, ahead of Dr. Opuni opening his defense that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the defendants.

The court then ordered Dr. Opuni and Seidu Agongo to open their defense.

But as Dr. Opuni’s Lawyer, Samuel Cudjoe points out in an application, even after the judge had declared there was a prima facie case established against them ahead of the opening of their defense, their request for two weeks to enable them to prepare their defense was denied.

The court rather gave them only ten days, which they say is not adequate for them to prepare a comprehensive defense given the volume of documents involved.

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