The Accra High Court today stopped an attempt by Mr Samuel Cudjoe, the lawyer for Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni from moving a motion to commence a perjury trial against Dr. Yaw Adu-Ampomah, citing prejudice.
Mr Cudjoe filed a motion claiming that Dr. Adu-Ampomah, a witness for the prosecution, in the ongoing criminal case against his client, has not been truthful in his testimony to the court.
The judge, Justice Clemence Honyenuga, stopped the lawyer in his tracks and promptly ruled that the move will prejudice the main case and indicated that it will as well be unfair to the witness. He adjourned the motion indefinitely.
In his ruling, the judge cited a number of cases to make the point that, legal wisdom holds that the power to conduct a summary trial, such as in this case of alleged perjury, must be used sparingly and judiciously.
He noted that the judgements given in such summary trials – where the procedure is swifter and usually involves a lessening of the procedural requirements – must not precede the judgement of the main case, so as not to prejudice the case.
He added that the stated reason for which Dr Opuni’s lawyer is claiming that the third witness for the prosecution in the main trial against his client has perjured himself, must also be weighed against the totality of the testimony of the witness, so that judgment given, as to his guilt or otherwise for perjury, will be fair.
As such, in the instance where the witness, Dr. Adu-Ampomah, is presently undergoing cross-examination, it will be wise to not proceed with the perjury trial, until he is done with his testimony and the main trial has been concluded as well, hence the decision to disallow the perjury trial.
Mr Cudjoe filed the motion for perjury against Dr. Adu-Ampomah, who is a former Deputy Chief Executive at COCOBOD in Charge of Agronomy and Quality Control and the third witness for the prosecution in the ongoing trial of Dr Opuni and Seidu Agongo, following a series of testimonies in court, given by the witness about procurement practices at COCOBOD.
Source: ABC Newspaper