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Afoko Trial: First defence witness discharged

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An Accra High Court hearing the case involving Gregory Afoko, accused of murdering the former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), on Thursday discharged the first defence witness, after the prosecution ended his cross examination.

The court has asked the defence to present its second witness on Friday, January 18.

Mr Mathew Amponsah, continuing his cross examination of the witness, John Ishmael Afoko, asked whether he remembered telling the court that because his father was bed ridden, and could not walk there were people always around to assist him.

And that it was the accused person (Gregory Afoko), who was always with his father and sometimes with his (witness) support?

John responded in the affirmative and explained that if Gregory was not available, he was the one who takes care of his father.

The witness said even after Gregory’s arrest on the dawn of May 21, 2015, he was the one who took care of their sick father, and was around him throughout the day.

John told the court that, his father’s room was about six steps away from Gregory’s room.

He said on the dawn of May 21, 2015, between the hours of 02:00 hours and 03:00 hours, the police came to their house and arrested his brother, adding that, the team of police officers from Accra came to their house and searched Gregory’s room and they picked a raincoat.

John told the court that the police came to their house again on May 24, 2015, saying “on that day I remember the then Regional Crime Officer came with some policemen and they came to pick the accused person’s motorbike.”

When asked whether the police came there again after that, the witness said “I cannot tell. After Afoko’s arrest, I make sure the old man is well taken of, and has taken his breakfast and lunch, I do also go out to do one or two things before I come home. So I cannot say if the police came when I was not around.”

The witness explained that, when the police came to their house on May 22, 2015 from Accra, they opened the door of the accused person’s room using the key to the room because they had the key to the room already.

“When the police came to the house on May 21, 2015 and arrested the accused person they searched the accused person’s room. And when they were leaving the house I remember one Frimpong holding the key to the accused person’s room. So the following day when the Accra team came they were together and they opened the door to Gregory’s room.”

He reiterated that he was present when the said Frimpong took away the keys on May 21, 2015, and did not give him any reasons for taking it away.

“When they were taking away the key the accused person himself was around but they did not give the key back to him or any of us,” the witness said.

The witness admitted that when the police came to their house on May 21, 2015 to search the room of the accused he resisted, and called his elder brother Paul Afoko on mobile phone before he allowed the police to conduct the search in the accused person’s room.

“In our Northern tradition the most senior brother steers the affairs of the house in the absence of the father. So I won’t allow somebody to come into the house without consulting my senior brother,” the witness.

The prosecution asked the accused whether he consulted his elder brother when the police came to arrest Gregory, and he said he did not, but after the arrest, “I then called to inform him of what had happened”.

On the issue of when he slept on the day of Gregory’s arrest, the witness said he went into his room to sleep after 20:00 hours, and Gregory also came shortly after, and it was between the hours of 20:00 hours, or a minute or two after 20:00 hours.

The prosecution then ‘put it to him’ that he gave a statement to the police and his lawyer on June 4, 2015, and in that statement, he stated that on May 5, 2015, he together with his wife and small girl retired to bed between 21:00 hours and 21:15 hours, and he admitted same.

But he denied stating that Gregory packed the motorbike at the time he was going to bed between 21:00 and 21:15 hours.

The witness reiterated that he was being truthful to the court about the time he slept and the time his brother came in, saying, “the accused person and I don’t get along well.

“Because we always argue, so I should be happy he has been taken away from the house and I have my freedom. Why should I lie to free him?

Afoko, a farmer, is alleged to have killed Mr Mahama on May 20, 2015, and 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.

Source: GNA

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