General News of Wednesday, 17 July 2019
Gregory Afoko has asked the High Court to give him time to carry out background checks on members of a jury expected to hear his murder trial.
According to him and his legal team, this will give him ample time to exercise his right to object or not to any of the seven persons selected.
One of the lawyers, Steven Sowah Charway explained that the accused persons for the purpose of fair trial must be given the chance to assess the backgrounds of the jurors to ensure that they are fit for purpose.
On the other hand, the prosecution in the case objected to the request describing it as alien to the procedure of the court and also not part of Ghana’s laws.
The judge, Merley Wood, after hearing the arguments to the two sides ruled that there was no provision in the law under Act 30 which allows for the request of the accused persons and therefore cannot be sustained.
Her ruling paved the way for the seven persons to be sworn in as jurors in the case.
Gregory Afoko and one other accused person Asabke Alangdi have been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
The two men have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the facts by the prosecution, the two men conspired and poured acid on Adam Mahama leading to his death.
The prosecution also added that their decision to do that was based on an action taken by the late former NPP Upper East chair to scuttle a meeting being held at the time by a former National Chairman of the NPP, Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong meant to work against the campaign of then flagbearer of the party, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo.
On Monday, the court rescinded the bail granted Afoko some three months ago by another High Court.
The decision by the court to rescind the bail follows an application made by the Attorney General represented in court by Chief State Attorney, Marina Appiah Opare.
According to madam Appiah Opare, Mr. Afoko will not show up for trial if the court did not rescind the bail granted him by a different High Court judge.
The ruling has been criticised by a lot of Ghanaians including civil society organisations.