General News of Friday, 16 March 2018
Private legal practitioner, Osafo Buaben, who is representing Gregory Afoko – who is standing trial for allegedly murdering the Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Adams Mahama – has told the court that his client was worn-out.
The lawyer expressed the sentiment when the accused person showed signs of fatigue while in the dock yesterday.
The trial took more than two hours and three washroom breaks as the court was determined to see the sixth prosecution witness end his evidence-in-chief and then cross-examined by the defence counsel.
Afoko was brought to the court some few minutes after 9:00 am but because one of the jurors had not yet arrived, the case had to be delayed for about two hours before it was called.
Fatigue visibly set in when the accused person had to sit through the over two hours’ proceedings, and attracted the attention of the presiding judge, Justice Lawrence Ladzagla Mensah.
Afoko was not the only person who looked tired as the prosecution witness, who travelled all the way from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, also at certain points of the proceedings, looked exhausted and had to be queried as to whether he was okay.
The judge then called Afoko and enquired whether he was okay too. Asked whether he was tired, he replied, “No my Lord.”
Mr Buaben then drew the attention of the court to the fact that his client was exhausted probably because of the long hours he had spent in court.
Meanwhile, the sixth prosecution witness, Awafo Akelesiya, has been discharged by the court after he had ended his testimony at yesterday’s sitting.
The witness spent a lot of time in the witness box, led in evidence by Matthew Amponsah, a Chief State Attorney. Witness had told the court how he (Afoko), Asabke (who is on the run) and one Baba met at a drinking spot in the night of the incident
Mr Akelesiya told the court that they ( he and the accused persons) met at the spot about 8:30 pm where they had a few drinks and went home at about 10:30 pm.
He claimed that after they had left the drinking spot, he walked home, while Baba also rode his motorbike home and Afoko offered to carry Asabke on his motorbike to his (Asabke’s) house.
During cross-examination, he was asked whether he was arrested as a suspect in the murder.
He said he was arrested and detained for two days because he was with Afoko and the others in the night of the acid bath (which allegedly killed the NPP regional chairman) but was later set free because the police said he had nothing to do with the matter.
He also confirmed that he did not know Afoko until the day they met at a hotel where they had come up with a plan to launch a youth wing of the NPP in the area.
He was discharged by the court after his cross-examination.
Hearing continues on March 27, 2018.