Court dismisses Afoko’s bail application

Law2A High Court hearing the alleged case of murder involving Gregory Afoko on Tuesday dismissed an application for bail filed by the defence counsel.

The court presided by Justice L. L Mensah in ruling on the motion said the court took into consideration the nature and severity of the offence.

He said “it would be in the interest of the Republic and the safety of the accused person himself if he is kept in custody”.

The court, however, warned that the refusal of the bail was also not a license for the prosecution to drag its feet in the commencement of the trial.

It later adjourned the matter to July 12.

Earlier, the prosecution led by Mr Mathew Amponsah in responding to the motion for bail, prayed the court to refuse the bail application because of the nature of the charges the accused person is facing, the special circumstances of the case, the injury suffered by the deceased and the conduct of the accused in the commission of the offence.

He argued that even though the police had concluded investigations in the matter there are other ways that the accused person would interfere by intimidating the prosecution witness.

He said: “it is our fear that if Gregory is granted bail, he would join forces with his accomplice where ever he is, and would not appear to stand trial. That would also tamper the efforts of the police to arrest his accomplice”.

At the last adjourned date, Mr Israel Ackah, Counsel for Afoko filed a motion for his client to be admitted to bail.

Afoko, a farmer, is being held on the charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit murder and murder of the late Mr Adams Mahama, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Upper East Region Chairman.

It is alleged that he carried out the act with one Alandgi Asake who is on the run.

A third accomplice, Musa Issa, was granted bail after the Attorney-General advised that there was not enough evidence to charge him.

Afoko has pleaded not guilty.

On February 23, this year, an Accra District Court committed Afoko to stand trial at the High Court to answer to the charges against him.

The State during the committal proceedings tendered 17 exhibits in respect of the trial.

The exhibits include Afoko’s caution and charge statements as well as a post mortem report of the deceased conducted on November 25, last year by Dr Lawrence Edusei; a medical report on the deceased wife who also sustained injuries in her bid to assist the deceased when the incident occurred.

Other exhibits are a gallon containing the alleged residue of acid found at the crime scene, a cup believed to have been used by the assailants in pouring the acid on to the deceased, the deceased’s pair of shoes and attire and a piece of carpet in the deceased car.

The rest were various reports from the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), a pair of blue black track suit belonging to Afoko and photographs of the crime scene.

Prosecution said the deceased was a contractor who lived at Bolgatanga SSNIT Flats in the Upper East Region and the NPP Regional Chairman of the Region.

According to Mr Amponsah, Afoko also lived in Bolgatanga and he was the younger brother of Mr Paul Afoko, suspended National Chairman of the NPP.

The State said the accused is also a party activist, and was close to the deceased.

On May 20, last year, the deceased left his house for his construction site in his pick-up truck with registration number NR 761-14.

The Chief State Attorney said the deceased returned to the house in the night and at his entrance, two men signaled him to roll down the window of his car.

The deceased obliged and the two men poured acid on the deceased and  filed on a motorbike.

Mr Amponsah said Mr Mahama shouted for help and his wife, Hajia Zenabu Adams went to his aid.

He said Mrs. Adams also sustained burns on her chest and breast in her bid to assist the victim.

According to Mr Amponsah, the deceased told the wife that it was Gregory and Asanke, who poured the acid on him.

The deceased also mentioned the two accused persons, in the presence of neighbours, as the people who poured the acid on him.

The Chief State Attorney said Mr Adams was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of the Bolgatanga Hospital where he passed on.

Mr Amponsah said the Police proceeded to the crime scene and collected a gallon containing the residue of the alleged acid, a cup and clothes of the assailant.

He said the passenger and driver’s seats were soaked with the acid and a pair of track suit used by the accused was also picked up.

The items retrieved were sent to the Ghana Standards Board.

Afoko was picked up at about 0200 hours in his house where he led the Police to Asake’s house, but he was not available.

A post mortem was conducted on the deceased by Dr Edusei and its report indicated that Mr Adams died of extensive acid burns. Afoko has been remanded into lawful custody at the Bureau of National Investigations.

Prosecution is expected to call 15 witnesses to make its case.

Source: GNA

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