Judicial Service workers ‘hot’ over stolen hard drives in Courts

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Some Judicial Service workers are being probed by National Security operatives over missing hard drives and other relevant records in five High Courts located at the Law Court Complex in Accra, ABC News has gathered.

According to sources, officers of the Judicial Service who work at the Information Technology (IT) departments of the affected courts were “arrested” last week for questioning when it emerged that the hard drives used for storing Court records had been stolen.

ABC News has also gathered that the mobile phones of the workers have been seized while investigations continue.

The hard drives were believed to have been pilfered during the just ended legal vacation which was observed from 1st August to 5th of October 2019.

Among the affected courts whose hard drives have been stolen is the High Court adjudicating the case of the Republic verses Stephen Opuni, Seidu Agogo and Agriculture Limited (the Cocobod Case), which is presided over by Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Clemence Hoyenuga.

With the exception of this Court which is a Criminal High Court, the rest of the affected Courts are Land High Courts.

The Court was forced to adjourn proceedings for a month to allow the Court of Appeal make a determination on yet another stay of proceedings filed by the lawyer for Mr Seidu Agongo.

This is the second time this year that the accused have filed this kind of application at the Court of Appeal.

They have also twice filed the same application at the High Court adjudicating the substantive matter, and the applications in each of those instances were rejected. The first one which was filed at the Court of Appeal was also rejected.

In each of the three earlier instances, this year alone, of the filing of a stay of proceedings, the Accra High Court was compelled to pause the substantive case of alleged defrauding by false pretences, money laundering and causing financial loss, which the two men have been charged with.

At the last hearing of the case, Justice Clemence Honyenuga, the Appeal Court Judge, sitting as an additional High Court Judge and presiding over the trial referenced a Supreme Court ruling which held that the granting of an application for a stay of proceedings is solely at the discretion of the judge of the case and must be exercised judicially; “not whimsically or capriciously”.

But he also observed that the lawyer for the accused could not even manage to provide a single good reason for which the application should be granted, adding that granting the application will only result in further unnecessary “delay and will stultify the case”.

 

Source: ABCNewsgh.com

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