Afoko trial begins February 18

Committal proceedings against Gregory Afoko, the man indicted for the murder of the Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Adams Mahama, are set to begin on February 18, 2016.

The date was fixed yesterday after the prosecution in the case had informed the Accra Magistrate Court that it had served the accused with the bill of indictment as of February 1, 2016 and was, therefore, ready for the committal proceedings.

The prosecutor, Mr Matthew Amponsah, a Chief State Attorney, told the court, presided over by Mr Kotoku Worlanyo, that his outfit had already furnished the defence and the court with the bill of indictment and the summary of evidence.

‘We are, therefore, before you for direction for a date for the committal proceedings to commence,’ he said.

Medical report
Reacting to the prosecution’s claims, lead counsel for the accused, Mr Israel Ackaah, said although the defence had been given the said documents, it was yet to be given a copy of the medical report on the deceased.

He, therefore, called on the Attorney-General’s (A-G’s) Department to provide the defence with the report.

Prior to that development, Mr Ackaah had expressed frustration at the snail-pace nature of the trial and accused the state of showing little interest.

He argued that the police had always gone to court with excuses that the docket on the case was still before the A-G, adding that ‘this court cannot tolerate such excuses by the police’.

Charge
Afoko and Asabke Alangdi have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit crime and murder.

A third accomplice, Musa Issa, was granted bail after the A-G had advised that there was not enough evidence to charge him.

Afoko appeared in court in a very calm and somehow sombre mood.

Clad in a grey shirt over a pair of black trousers and slippers, the accused person looked very drained, occasionally showing alertness whenever his counsel got into an argument with the prosecution.

Facts
According to the facts of the case, on May 14, 2015, Gregory’s brother, Mr Paul Afoko, and Mr Kwabena Agyepong, then national chairman and general secretary, respectively, of the NPP arrived in Bolgatanga for a meeting.

The deceased, the prosecution claimed, organised some thugs to violently attack the two, scuttling the planned meeting at the Azumsolon Guest House, for campaigning against the flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and also not notifying him of the meeting.

The situation, according to the prosecution, was later brought under control by the police, adding that the accused, who was then upset, confronted Mahama but was chased out by thugs.

Another group
The facts also noted that Gregory and Asabke formed another youth group in their bid to protect persons perceived to be against Nana Akufo-Addo.

It said the accused persons held a series of meetings with the youth and on May 20, 2015 they laid ambush at Mahama’s residence with a substance suspected to be acid.

‘The deceased returned home around 11:10 p.m. in his pick-up vehicle, with registration number NR 761 – 14, and immediately he parked the vehicle in front of his house, the suspects went close and signalled him to roll down the glass. The deceased identified the suspects to be party members and rolled down the glass to talk to them.

Suddenly, the suspects poured the substance suspected to be acid on his head, face and other parts of his body and fled on a motorbike.

‘The deceased started screaming for help and his wife, Hajia Zenabu Adams, went to his aid and managed to bring him out of the vehicle,’ the prosecution added.

Injuries
According to the prosecution, Mahama’s wife also sustained burns on the right side of her chest and breast while assisting her husband.

It said when she enquired about what had happened to her husband, he told her Gregory and Asabke had attacked him.

Mahama died while being airlifted to Accra for treatment.

Gregory, who was later picked up, led the police to Asabke’s father’s house.

The police later located Asabke’s house but he had then absconded with his wife, abandoning their baby in the process.

A post-mortem report on Mahama said he died of shocked lungs and extensive acid burns.


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