Afoko Trial – Court adjourns to hear stay of proceedings by Defense

An Accra District Court hearing the case in which Gregory Afoko and Asabke Alangdi have been accused of causing the death of Adams Mahama, former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party on Monday adjourned the matter.

The Court presided over by Mrs Efua Sackey adjourned it after the prosecution objected to a letter filed by defense counsel seeking to stay proceedings.

When the case was called counsel for Gregory Afoko, represented by Mrs Benedicta Antwi told the court that they had raised an objection regarding the case at the Supreme Court.

She said that suit was praying the Supreme Court to give an order directing that the parties go back to the High Court, before which Gregory Afoko was being tried to continue with the case.

She told the court that they were therefore by a letter addressed to the Registrar of the court praying to stay the committal proceedings, pending the determination of the suit at the Supreme Court.

Mrs Antwi said Gregory had not been discharged at the High Court, which had set February 20 for both parties to address the court, prior to judgment.

The prosecution, Mrs Lily Atitigah, however opposed to their submission, arguing that the proper process required to stay proceedings was not by a letter.

She said if the defense intends to stay proceedings, the right procedure must be followed. The letter is not enough grounds for the court to stay proceedings before it.

The court however agreed with the prosecution, and therefore ordered the defense to go back and file a proper application for stay of proceedings, for the prosecution to respond accordingly.
The case was then adjourned to February 27.

At the previous sitting the case was adjourned to hear an application filed by the defense counsel, after she told the court that they had filed an objection at the Supreme Court challenging the Nolle Prosequi filed against her client, earlier this year.

It would be recalled that following the arrest of Asabke, in Cote d’ Ivoire on Friday, January 25, 2019, the two were put before an Accra District Court for committal processes to commence and on their first appearance their pleas were not taken.

The two were both charged with conspiracy to commit a crime as well as intentionally and unlawfully causing the death of Adams Mahama.

They are being kept in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations to assist in investigations.

At an earlier session, Police Chief Inspector Maxwell Oppong told the Court, presided over by Ms Efua G. Sackey, that Hajia Zainabu Adams, the widow of Adams was the prosecution witness and a resident of Bolgatanga SSNIT Flats.

He said both of accused persons were farmers who also lived at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

He explained that Afoko was the younger brother of Mr Paul Afoko, a former Chairman of the NPP; while Alangdi was a member of the youth wing of the party.

Chief Inspector Oppong said both of them were known to the deceased.

He said on May 20, 2015, at about 2300 hours, Adams, was driving his car home from his construction site, when he was asked to stop in front of his house by the two men.

The Prosecution said the two signaled him to roll down his side window glass of the vehicle and he obliged but they immediately poured some acid on him, which made him scream from the burning sensation to attract his wife’s attention whilst the two bolted.

He said Adams sustained burns on his head, face and body whereas the wife, who assisted him out of the car, also had injuries from the burns of acid on her breasts and chest.

The prosecution said she asked who had done this to him and he mentioned Afoko and Alangdi.

He said she then called for help, which attracted some sympathizers, who conveyed Adams to the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital. But he died the next day at the Intensive Care Unit.

Chief Inspector Oppong said the matter was referred to the police and a plastic cup, a gallon of some acid, as well as clothes belonging to the deceased, were collected for investigations. The car seat was also soaked with some of the liquid.

He said a tracksuit and other items believed to be for the accused persons were also taken at the scene by the police.

He said they were sent to the Ghana Standards Authority for examination and it confirmed the liquid as acid.

The Prosecution said based on this information, Afoko was arrested who led police to Alangdi’s house, but he had escaped.

He said on May 15, 2015, Dr Lawrence Adusei’s autopsy report indicated that Adams suffered shock and extensive acid burns.

Afoko was standing trial until Alangdi was arrested on January 25 in Cote d’Ivoire with the help of the Interpol.

Chief Inspector Oppong said the trial of Afoko had been discontinued as a nolle prosequi had been entered by the Attorney-General for the two to go through committal proceedings together.

Source: GNA

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