Criminal Court 4 of the Accra High Court yesterday threw out an application by embattled former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Stephen Opuni, to defreeze his accounts.
According to the court, the Economic and Organised Crime 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 could have been halted if it had acted after citing Dr Opuni for financial malfeasance.
At the last appearance, Lawyer for Dr Opuni, Mr Samuel Cudjoe, 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 GHC217 million through three separate fertiliser supply contracts between 2014 and 2016.
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH
Writer’s email: email@example.com