Court declares Afoko fit for trial

The Accra High Court on Tuesday declared Gregory Afoko fit for trial in the case involving the murder of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Upper-East regional chairman.

When the case was called on Tuesday morning, the presiding judge, Justice L. L. Mensah said the court has been provided with the comprehensive report on the accused person’s state of health.

“After a thorough examination of the report by the court together with the prosecution and Defence Counsel, the accused person is fit to continue with the trial.

“Based on the medical report, the health condition of Afoko makes him fit for the trial”, he noted.

GNA observed that Afoko who was in court was calm throughout the proceedings.

The court later adjourned hearing to March 23, 24 and 31, and asked the prosecution to get their witnesses ready for the trial.

At the last sitting, the court expressed concern about the delay in the comprehensive health report on the accused as ordered at the last adjourned date.

The court at the last sitting directed by the Deputy Director of the Nsawam Prison that the accused person was to be sent to the hospital for an MRI scan on February 9, and for that reason the case was adjourned to today, March 7.

Afoko, a farmer is alleged to have killed Mr Adams Mahama, the NPP Upper East Region Chairman.

He is being held on the charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit murder and murder, he has pleaded not guilty before a seven-member jury at the court.

So far the deceased’s wife Hajia Zenabu Adams had testified in the matter. Prosecution intends to call 14 other witnesses to make their case.

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 opined that there was not enough evidence to put him on trial.

GNA files indicate that on February 23, last year, an Accra District Court committed Afoko to stand trial at the High Court to answer to the charges against him.

The State had already undertaken committal proceedings before an Accra Magistrate Court and tendered over 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, 2015, 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 is being led by Mr Matthew Amponsah, Chief State Attorney, who told the court that the deceased was a contractor who lived at Bolgatanga SSNIT Flats in the Upper East Region and also the NPP Regional Chairman.

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

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

On May 20, 2015, the deceased left his house to his construction site with 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 the entrance of his house, two men signaled him to roll down the window of his car.

The deceased obliged and the two men, however, poured acid on the deceased and fled 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 Standard Board.

Afoko was picked up at about 0200 hours in his house and he led the Police to Asake’s house.

Asake was, however, not available.

A post mortem conducted on the deceased by Dr Edusei indicates that Mr Adams died of extensive acid burns.

Afoko has been remanded into lawful custody.

Source: GNA

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