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Gregory Afoko’s trial begins

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LawProsecution in the case involving  Gregory Afoko, who is alleged to have murdered Mr Mahama Adams, the former New Patriotic Party Chairman of the Upper East Region, on Tuesday opened its case.

Lead by Mr Mathew Amponsah, Chief State Attorney the first prosecution witness in the person of Mrs Zainabu Adams, the wife of the late Adams started giving her evidence in chief.

She told the High Court presided over Justice Lagzagla Mensah that she is a trader and  that Mr Adams was her husband for 26 years and until his demise they had both lived at Bolgatanga, SSNIT Quarters Block 44B, in the Upper East Region.

She said Mr Adams was a road and building contractor, and the NPP Regional Chairman for the Upper East Region who spoke various languages like Wala, Dagbaani, Frafra, English and Hausa.

When asked whether she knew the accused person, Mrs Adams said she never knew the accused person until his husband was murdered.

Mrs Adams said on May 20, 2015, at about 0700 hours she together with her husband were home when he washed down and went out in his Toyota pick-up to inspect, a hotel he was constructing along the Bolgatanga-Tamale road.

She told the court that her husband came back home around 2300 hours in his car wailing and crying for help.

“I was in the room when I heard my husband lamenting, wailing and crying for help, saying I am burning, I am dying.

“When I asked why he was crying for help, he told me that it was the younger brother of Paul Afoko, the Politician, Gregory and one Asake who poured substances on his body”.

She explained to the court that, she helped her husband come out of the car and put him on the ground and later covered him with a cloth.

Mr Amponsah asked whether Mrs Adams could identify the cloths her husband wore on that day, and she answered in the affirmative saying that her husband wore a shirt and trousers on that day, but clothes fell on seat of the car, because of the substance that was poured on him.

She told the court that her husband’s cloths were beyond recognition, so she put them in a polythene bag.

He asked me to call him one Thomas, but before Thomas got there, my husband’s body started burring and pealing, so Thomas advised that we take him to the hospital, so we sent him to the Bolgatanga Central Hospital.

When asked what Mr Adam’s condition was at the time, she told the court that due to the nature of the substance poured on him, his body was peeling, burning and he was in pain.

The case was further adjourned to October 11, for continuation of the evidence in chief.

At the last adjourned date, the court dismissed an application for bail by defense counsel.

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, 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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