Afoko Bail Bid Crashes

Gregory Afoko

An Accra high court has once again dismissed a bail application filed by Defence lawyers for 52-year-old Gregory Afoko.

The renewed attempt at bail yesterday followed an earlier botched attempt on July 28, last year.

The court, presided over by Justice L.L. Mensah, in a ruling said the refusal of the bail was in the interest of justice and that of the accused person – who is being tried over the murder of Adams Mahama, Upper East Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He said that there was no doubt that the accused had been in custody since his arrest.

The court held that that was the first time the case was being adjourned at the instance of Hajia Zainabu Adams, wife of Adams Mahama, who was said to be indisposed.

The court stated that previous adjournments had been occasioned by the ill-health of Gregory, until two weeks ago when doctors had declared the accused fit for trial.

Moving the application, Osafo Boabeng, lawyer for the accused person, said the defence had taken cognizance of the fact that an earlier application was refused by the court and that the request was interlocutory which could be repeated subsequently.

Mr Boabeng contended that his client had been in custody since May 21, 2015 when he was arrested, adding that he (client) had not given the court any reason to doubt his preparedness to defend the charges against him.

Gregory’s lawyer among other issues, noted that the trial appeared to have stalled for the reason that the witness was indisposed.

Matthew Amponsah, chief state attorney, opposing the bail, said the trial had not delayed and that even if it had, it was a result of the ill-health of Gregory.

He said the prosecution obliged and accommodated the defence when the accused was indisposed, indicating that that was in line with his (Afoko’s) rights.

The chief state attorney said since July 19, 2015 when the evidence-in-chief of Zainabu was taken, the case had suffered adjournments after adjournments at the instance of the Gregory Afoko.

Matthew said the court ought not to grant the bail because there was still insecurity in Bolgatanga and that one more suspect in the case had not yet been arrested.

He said the dust over the case was yet to settle, urging the court to decline the bail, bearing in mind the emotion of the family and the national interest.

Gregory has been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and murder of Adams Mahama in May 2015.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Adams Mahama died of extensive acid burns and shock lungs (acute respiratory distress syndrome), an autopsy report has indicated.

Gregory’s alleged accomplice, Asabke, is still on the run.

 

By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

jeffdegraft44@yahoo.com

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