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Politics of Monday, 22 July 2019

Source: dailyguidenetwork.com

Mahama stokes fire in Afoko trial

Former President John Dramani Mahama has stoked fire in the trial of Gregory Afoko who has been accused of pouring acid on Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that led to his death.

Mr. Mahama claims the manner, in which the government is handling the case which is in court, is an affront to the rule of law.

Mr. Mahama, who will be leading the NDC in the 2020 presidential elections after losing miserably in 2016, claims government made a mistake when it decided to rescind the bail granted to the suspect in March this year.

Speaking to members of his party and monitored by Citi FM, the former President urged the clergy and traditional rulers to speak up for government to realise its ‘mistakes.’

His comments have been received with mixed reactions; some persons are suggesting that the former President was riding on the back of the trial as one of his ‘tactics’ to win public sympathy.

“Just recently in court, someone requested bail and it was granted by the court but government has rescinded the bail. Every country is governed by rules. If government decides not to abide by the rules then where lies our fate as a country,” Mr. Mahama is reported to have said.

He added that “the young man was incarcerated for a long while before being arraigned. This could be any other person too so the clergy and traditional rulers must speak up for government to know its mistakes.



First Arrest

Gregory Afoko was arrested in May 2015 for allegedly pouring acid on the Upper East Regional Chairman of the NPP, Adams Mahama, leading to his untimely death.

He is alleged to have conspired with Asabke Alangdi, who was recently arrested from his hideout in the Ivory Coast, to commit the heinous crime.

Trial

Afoko was put before an Accra High Court charged with murder after an Accra Central Magistrate Court committed him for trial.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder levelled against him.

The state had closed its case after calling 14 prosecution witnesses, including the wife of the late Adams Mahama.

Afoko subsequently opened his defence and vehemently denied the charges against him.

He called his elder brother, John Afoko, as his only witness in the matter in a jury trial.

The trial judge Justice Lawrence L. Mensah was on course to conclude the case when on January 28 the Attorney General’s Department entered a nolle prosequi in the matter following the arrest of Alangdi.



Bail

An Accra High Court in March granted Afoko bail of GH¢500,000 with two sureties, one to be justified.

But the bail was rescinded by another High Court just last Monday following an application filed by the Office of the Attorney-General (A-G).

According to the prosecution, the A-G had cause to believe that given the severity of the punishment Afoko is likely to face if found guilty, he would not make himself available for the trial if the bail is not rescinded.

Second Trial

The new trial of Afoko and his alleged accomplice Alangdi began before an Accra High Court last week after the court successfully empanelled a seven-member jury.

The two are alleged to have poured acid on the deceased who suffered severe bodily burns and died the next day while on admission at the Bolgatanga Municipal Hospital.

Afoko and Asabke are before the court on two counts of conspiracy to commit crime and murder to which they all pleaded not guilty.