I doubt the impartiality of Justice Dotse; he should recuse himself – Opuni

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In just 24 hours, a 7-member Supreme Court panel is due to render its decision on a review request filed by Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame.

Mr Dame is asking Apex Court to overturn its July 2021 3-2 closing ruling which barred Judge Clemence Honyenuga from continuing as a judge in the trial of former COCOBOD CEO Dr Stephen Opuni .

The Apex Court, after hearing oral argument on Tuesday, October 12, adjourned the proceedings until October 26 to render its decision.

In July this year, Dr Opuni’s lawyers took the Supreme Court to court, asking it to prevent Judge Honyenuga from hearing the case.

He alleged that his right to a fair hearing was violated by the judge without showing bias. The allegations stem from Judge Honyenuga’s ruling on submitting a request for a dismissal.
Dr Opuni’s lawyers argue that the judge erred in law by rejecting certain documents presented in evidence.

Regarding the allegation of bias against the judge, lawyers explained that the judge made prejudicial comments in his submission of no decision.

“All this was perpetuated to facilitate the affairs of the 2nd and 3rd accused and defraud COCOBOD. Indeed, these acts were all carried out to facilitate and intentionally, willfully to help the 2nd and 3rd accused to perpetuate the fraud on COCOBOD by providing a product different from what has been tested and approved.

Page 54 again. “… However, the 1st accused, although he knew the correct situation, knowingly facilitated and assisted the 2nd and 3rd accused in defrauding COCOBOD. “

The case was heard by Justices Jones Dotse, AM Dordzie, Amadu Tanko, Lovelace Johnson and Gabriel Pwamang.

Judge Gabriel Pwamang, who wrote the main judgment, concludes as follows.

“The test is objective and is based on the principle that not only justice must be done, but it must be seen as such. As the authorities say, the bias is so insidious that the judge himself may not even realize that he has a bias in the case at hand. It is for the reasons explained above that I hereby grant the prohibition request for justice to be done in this matter. In conclusion, the request is granted on both counts and is therefore granted as requested. “

He was supported by his fellow judges AM Dordzie and Tanko Amadu. However, justices Jones Dotse and Lovelace Johnson disagreed.

The request for review is heard by Justices Gertrude Torkonoo and Professor Ashie Kotey, who joined the initial panel.

The attorney general told the panel that the decision of the country’s highest court contains fundamental errors of law that clearly resulted in a miscarriage of justice.

But Dr. Opuni’s lawyers disagree. They say a review cannot be a way to re-argue issues that have been considered and rejected by the court.

Joynews spotted an October 25 request filed by lawyers for Dr. Opuni. They ask that Judge Jones Dotse recuse himself from the panel.

Dr Opuni, in his affidavit in support of this claim, says his attention was drawn to a widely circulated internet publication by one Kelvin Taylor, a Ghanaian broadcaster in the United States of America.

Mr Taylor allegedly alleged that the Attorney General on October 15, 2021, visited the office of Judge Jones Dotse, the presiding judge, and had a lengthy meeting with him. This meeting, according to Dr Opuni, revealed the show, lasted more than two hours.

Dr Opuni then alleges that GA Godfred Yeboah Dame, while he was Deputy Attorney General, attended a town hall of supporters and sympathizers of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), which took place on April 6. 2019 in London, England. and which meeting, he said, was broadcast on numerous social media, including Facebook and OMEGA LIVE TV, a private television channel.

Mr Dame, Dr Opuni stated the following; “Even on this matter, the prosecution has started, and I can refer to four cases of people close to the administration of John Mahama. The first is the Opuni trial. We all know that Dr Opuni was a person who was used by the Mahama administration to perpetrate wrongdoing. Now there is a lawsuit against the former CEO of COCOBOD, Dr Opuni, it is ongoing, and it involves various
huge sums of money as losses for the state.

He insists that these comments amounted to a political coloring of his case.

“So let me have no doubt that my case has been unnecessarily elevated to the rank of NDC corruption, the success of which would affect the political fortunes of the current ruling party whose attorney general is appointed. . “

Dr. Opuni said in the affidavit.

He continued: “I declare that although I was not at said meeting as indicated by said Kevin Taylor broadcast, the conduct of the learned Attorney General in giving a political twist to my case at the time he was under- Attorney General, as well as the statement of other political bigwigs in the ruling party leaves me in no doubt that it is in the best interests of the government that I am sentenced for purely political reasons, as said the Attorney General.

“We all know that Dr Opuni was a person who was used by the Mahama administration to perpetrate wrongdoing. Now there is a lawsuit against the former CEO of COCOBOD, Mr. Opuni, it is ongoing, and it involves various huge sums of money as losses to the state.

He therefore argues that this meeting, which would have taken place a few days after the court heard the pleadings, leaves him in serious doubts as to the impartiality of Judge Jones Dotse.

“That I clarify that the said two-hour meeting which, according to the broadcast of said Kevin Taylor, took place on said Friday, October 15, 2021 after the hearing of pleadings on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 with regard to the request for review leaves me serious doubts as to the impartiality of his lordship Judge Jones Dotse in the application for review and convinces me that the Attorney General intends to use all means to ensure that I am convicted. “

He therefore wants Judge Dotse to recuse himself.

“That I was informed by a lawyer and that I really think it is true that it is a truism and an established principle of law that justice must not only be done, but clearly and without a doubt be regarded as being rendered. Sadly, the prosecution of Justice Jones Dote will destroy this chilling legal cliché. I pray that Justice Jones Dotse will be recused as a member of the review committee to help make sense of this legal cliché.


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