Court adjourns Afoko trial because of operation vanguard

The prosecution, in the case involving Gregory Afoko, accused of murdering the former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), on Tuesday said that his next witnesses were on operation vanguard and could not be present in court.

Mr Mathew Amponsah said “my next three witnesses are police officers, and today they are meeting their supervisors to act on an operation, they are therefore asking the court’s permission for today”.

On Tuesday morning when the case was, called the prosecution prayed for an adjournment saying the next witnesses were aware they are supposed to be in court, but informed the prosecution during the weekend of their inability to come because of the operation.

He informed the court that the said witnesses have also been transferred from their previous post to other places ever since the incident happened, assuring the court that they would be available only after Easter.

The prosecution also informed the court that he had enquired from the prisons as to why the accused person was not present in court, but he had had no response as at the time the case was called.

Counsel for Gregory, Mr Osafo Boabeng, said he had no objection to the prosecution’s request, but informed the court that the next adjourned date should be fixed after April 19, because he was deeply involved in the petition against the Electoral Commission, and would not be available before then. 

The court presided over by Justice L. L Mensah, then adjourned the matter to April 24, 25, 26 and 27, cautioning the prosecution that, it was not going to take excuses from them on that day, except if the witness is indisposed.

“In fact I don’t like how we have gone so far. You would have to bring at least two of your witnesses to court on the next date. Tell them that where ever they are, this trial is important than any other thing,” Justice Mensah said.

At the last sitting, on March 15, the sixth prosecution witness was discharged by the court, after defence counsel ended cross-examination.

The Prosecution intends to call nine other witnesses, in addition to Hajia Adams, Madam Issaka, Quinn, Taufic, Dominic and Awafo.

Afoko, a farmer, is alleged to have killed Mr Mahama on May 20, 2015, and he is being held on the charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit murder and murder.

He has pleaded not guilty before the Court, which is also composed of a seven-member jury.

It was alleged that Afoko carried out the act with Alandgi Asabke, 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 prosecute him.

On February 23, 2016, an Accra District Court committed Afoko to stand trial at the High Court to answer to the charges against him.

The State at the committal proceedings tendered more than 17 exhibits in respect of the trial.

The exhibits include Afoko’s caution and charge statements as well as a post-mortem report on the deceased, conducted by Dr Lawrence Edusei; a medical report on the deceased’s wife, who also sustained injuries in her bid to assist her husband 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 the deceased, the deceased’s pair of shoes and attire, and a piece of carpet from the deceased’s car.

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

The Prosecution is being led by Mr Nicolas Amponsah, Chief State Attorney, who told the Court that Mr Adams was a contractor and lived at the Bolgatanga SSNIT Flats in the Upper East Region and was also the NPP Regional Chairman.

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

The State said the accused was also a party activist, and was close to Mr Adams.

On May 20, 2015, Mr Adams left his house to his construction site in his pick-up truck with registration number NR 761-14.

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

He obliged. However, the two men poured acid on him 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, Adams told his wife that it was Gregory and Asabke, who poured the acid on him.

He also mentioned the two accused persons, in the presence of neighbours, as those who poured the acid on him.

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

Afoko was picked up at about 0200 hours in his house and he led the Police to Asabke’s house. Asabke was, however, not available.

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

Source: GNA

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