The trial of Gregory Afoko, a farmer who has been charged together with Asabke Alangde has ended after 8 years following the alleged acid incident which led to the death of Adams Mahama.
The late Mahama, was the Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party and was said to have mentioned the names of Afoko and Asabke as those who poured the substance believed to be acid on him leading to his death.
Gregory Afoko and Asabke, who described himself as the chairman of the Bolga-Kumasi Ayamfuri Lorry Station Master have both denied the charge of conspiracy. While Afoko also separately pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.
While Afoko was arrested on May 21, 2015, a day after the incident on May 20, 2015, Asabke was arrested four years later in January 2019 after he fled to Ivory Coast for “fear of his life.”
Afoko was initially tried since 2015 but the proceedings was truncated by the Attorney General after Asabke was arrested in January 2019, for a fresh trial.
The trial restarted after the arrest of the second accused on July 17, 2019.
On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, the trial ended after the prosecution led by Mrs Marina Appiah-Opare ended the prosecution’s cross-Examination of Asabke, the second accused.
When Mrs Appiah-Opare signaled the end of their cross-Examination, Defence lawyer for Asabke who also held brief Stephen Sorwah Charway for (Osafo Buabeng) for Afoko said there would be no re-examination.
Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Merley Afua Wood, sitting as an additional High Court judge adjourned the case to March 8, 2023 to ensure the records of proceedings are ready and given to the parties to file addresses.
The judge also lauded the defence lawyers, the prosecution and the jury for the support saying “Thank you very much for your cooperation.”
According to EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, the punishment for murder is a death sentence and the seven-member panel of the jury would have to return a unanimous verdict to sustain the charges for the court to sentence them.
They are both on remand and are standing trial for the murder of New Patriotic Party’s Upper East Regional Chairman Adams Mahama following an alleged acid incident in May 20, 2015.
The prosecution called 16 witnesses including wife of the late Adams Hajia Zenabu Adam, Asigri Quinn, Zuwera Isaka, Tofiq Murtala, Baba Apayaa, Chief Inspector Augustus Nkrumah, the investigator among others to close its case.
Afoko on the other hand testifies himself, called John Ishmael Afoko, his brother who was present when he was arrested and also closed his case.
The second accused Asabke after opening his defence did not call any witness.
For the prosecution, Mrs Marina Appiah Opare, a Chief State Attorney, led Dom Esi Fiagbe and Frederick Adu Gyamfi to represent the Attorney General.
For the defence Lawyer Stephen Sowah Charway who held brief for Osafo Buabeng and Andrew Kudzo Vortia represented Gregory Afoko and Asabke Alangde respectively.
It was the case of the prosecution led by Chief State Attorney, Marina Appiah Opare, that the two acted with the aim of killing Adams Mahama.
She recounted that the former NPP Chairman, Paul Afoko (brother of Gregory) then General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong in 2015 attended a meeting in the Upper East region.
The aim, she said, was how to work against the then flagbearer of the party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The said meeting, the prosecution added, was scuttled by some men organised by the late Adams Mahama.
Unhappy about this, the two, according to the prosecutor, attacked to kill Mr Adams days after, when he was heading home.
The State concluded the facts by pointing out that Mr Mahama who was rushed to the hospital, named the two as the persons who poured acid on him in the presence of three witnesses.