After eight months of legal tussle, 52-year-old Gregory Afoko yesterday publicly waived the opportunity to break his silence over the alleged murder of Adams Mahama, Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
On two occasions, the accused, a brother to Paul Afoko – the suspended National Chairman of the NPP – turned down the opportunity to address the court when he was being committed to the high court for trial over the alleged murder of the NPP stalwart.
Gregory, a farmer, told the Accra Central Magistrate Court presided over by Worlanyo Kotoku, “My lord, I have nothing to say…I rely on my statements to the police.”
However, Matthew Amponsah, a Chief State Attorney, presented 17 evidences to the court, indicting the accused person, although Ekow Ampah Korsah, lead counsel for Afoko, sought to scuttle the committal process.
He argued that the court ought to refer a part of the matter which bordered on disclosure of evidence, to the Supreme Court for determination.
He held that the position by the prosecutors was at variance with Article 19(2) of the 1992 Constitution and Sections 181/182 of Act 30 of the Criminal Code of 1960.
The Chief State Attorney insisted that the magistrate court had no jurisdiction to refer the matter to the Supreme Court.
Charged with conspiracy to murder and murder, the much awaited bill of indictment was read to Afoko, who said he had nothing to say and as such would rely on his statements to the police.
The state exhibits include, the caution statement of the accused dated 22 May, 2015; further statements dated 28, May and charge caution statement of 25 November, 2015.
The others are the postmortem report on the late Adams dated May 25 and the medical report of wife of the deceased, Hajia Zenabu Adams.
The prosecution also paraded the gallon containing the residue of the acid which was purportedly poured on the late Adams, a carpet in the car of the deceased which he was using before the attack; the pair of shoes used by the deceased; a sample of the seat in the deceased vehicle and a foam being part of vehicle.
State prosecutors further submitted among others things, Afoko’s pair of trousers, the forensic report issued by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) on the substances retrieved from the crime scene and the medical report of the accused person dated May 26, 2015.
Korsah hinted that his client would fight the evidence as put out by the prosecution’s bill of indictment.
He said the prosecution’s version of the case was not the truth, indicating that it could not stand the test of scrutiny at the high court.
Israel Ackah, a member of the defence team, stated that in the course of the trial, they would file for alibi.
He said the accused person intended to call one Linda Agana and John Afoko.
Ackah maintained that three other witnesses namely, Musah Issah, David Afoko and one Adjene, are expected to be called.
Interestingly, Ackah made his last attempt at securing bail for his client, but the court rejected it.
He stated that the court was clothed with the jurisdiction to grant the bail.
On that, the trial judge was emphatic that the “rules are clear.”
The case is due for hearing at the high court on March 23, 2016.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson