Afoko Stranded In Court Over Bail

An Accra Human Rights Court was last week unable to hear the bail application filed by lawyers for Gregory Afoko, one of the two accused persons standing trial over the murder of Adams Mahama, Upper East Regional chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

This was because state attorneys expected to have been in court to respond to the motion were absent due to the strike action by state attorneys.

DSP Idan Derry said the prosecution division of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) was served with the motion on Thursday evening.

He said Supt Francis Baah, the substantive prosecutor in the case, had forwarded the motion to the Director of Public Prosecutions at the Attorney-General’s Department.

Appearing before the court presided over by Justice Kofi Essel Mensah, Ekow Ampah Korsah, lead counsel for the 53-year-old farmer and brother of Paul Afoko, NPP National Chairman, said the turn of events was unfortunate, especially when the human rights of the accused were at stake.

He argued that the AG was served on July 21, 2015 and as such was surprised that DSP Derry could tell the court that they had been short served.

Mr Korsah was empathic that his client must not be held responsible for the turn of events, insisting that he was aware all parties in the case had been duly served with the motion.

Judge’s Concerns
Justice Essel Mensah said he had a problem with the AG, stressing that the strike by the AG’s staff was causing a lot of problems for the court.

He contended that in as much as he sympathised with the staff, the court could not wait for them indefinitely.

Justice Essel Mensah said he would not have waited for the AG if the charges preferred against the accused were bailable.

In the view of the judge, the court would wait for the AG but certainly ‘not forever.’

The court adjourned hearing of the case until July 29, 2015.

Reaction
Meanwhile, the family of the late Upper East Regional NPP Chairman is incensed over the decision of the Accra Central Magistrate Court to bail Issah Musah, a driver who is being tried for abetment of crime in respect of the case.

The court, presided over by Worlanyo Kotoku, had admitted Musah to bail in the sum of GH¢20,000 with four sureties.

As part of the bail conditions, Musah was to report to the police CID from Monday to Thursday every week until the case before the court was disposed of.

Unsatisfied with the decision, lawyers for the family had filed a motion at the high court to quash the decision by the magistrate court.

According to the 11-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion filed by the lawyers of Yusif Mahama, brother of the deceased, the court had no jurisdiction to try a case of abetment of murder preferred against Musah and as such lacked jurisdiction to admit the accused person to bail.

Charges
Gregory and Musah are before the court for allegedly intentionally and unlawfully causing the death of Adams on May 20, 2015 at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

According to the police, Musah, who is a member of the NPP, on 19th May, 2015, solicited and procured the deadly acid which he gave to other two suspects who in turn poured it on Adams.

Asabke Alangdi, the third accused, has been on the run together with his wife, leaving behind their one-and-a-half-year-old baby.

Gregory is facing charges of conspiracy and murder.

The plea of the two has not been taken.
Facts
According to the police charge sheet, Gregory Afoko, after his arrest, was asked to lead the police to the house of his accomplice, Asabke Alangdi, but ‘he rather took them to the father’s house. Police later located the house of the second but the suspect had got wind of their presence and absconded with his wife leaving behind their baby.

‘A gallon, which contains some of the substance, and a plastic cup were retrieved at the scene for forensic examination.’

The police have revealed that a ‘post-mortem examination was conducted on the body of the deceased and the pathologist gave the cause of the death as shock lungs and extensive acid burns.’

By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
[email protected]


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