Gregory Afoko, 50, who was arrested in connection with the death of the Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was remanded in police custody by an Accra Magistrate Court, yester-day.
The suspect, whose plea was not taken, shed tears as soon as he was brought into the court room by the police at about 11.15 a.m., and was consoled by some of his family members who sat behind him.
His accomplice, Asabke Alangdi, according to the prosecution, had fled with his wife at the time the police got to his house leaving behind their baby.
Adams Mahama, according to the autopsy report, died of “extensive acid burns and shock lungs”.
Gregory Afoko has been charged with intentionally and unlawfully causing the death of Adams Mahama, to ‘wit’ murder.
He is being defended by four lawyers, led by Mr. Ekow Korsah.
Superintendent Francis Baah, Head of Legal and Prosecutions, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Headquarters, told the court, presided over by
Mr. Worlanyo Kotoku, that Alhaji Mahama was a contractor, while the first accused, Gregory Afoko, is a farmer, an NPP youth activist and younger brother of the NPP National Chairman, Paul Afoko.
At this point, lead counsel for the suspect,
Mr. Korsah raised an objection to the prosecutor linking Gregory to his elder brother, saying, his client was a man and a citizen on his own right, whose actions had nothing to do with the NPP national chairman, and suggested that the charge sheet be amended, because what Supt. Baah told the court was prejudicial.
“His worship, I am happy that the prosecutor refers to my client as a suspect but not an accused.
The portion of the facts that states that the suspect is a younger brother of the NPP national chairman should be removed because it is prejudicial,” he pleaded.
Continuing with the presentation after the interjection of Mr. Korsah, the prosecutor said, in the early part of this month, the General-Secretary,
Mr. Kwabena Agyepong and Mr. Paul Afoko, went to Bolgatanga to meet some party members but the deceased organised his supporters to disrupt the meeting, because the two national executive members were working against the flag-bearer of the party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
That, according to prosecution, did not go well with the suspect and Alangdi (now at large) who confronted Adams Mahama several times for stopping the meeting, and also organised their own group to protect the NPP national chairman.
Supt. Baah said on May 20, 2015, when the late Upper East Regional Chairman was driving home, Gregory and Alangdi stopped him and knowing them as party members, he rolled down the side glass to listen to them only for them to pour acid on him.
He managed to drive home to inform his wife that he had been attacked by the two suspects.
The prosecutor said a report was lodged with the police who arrested Gregory in his room and asked him to take the security personnel to his accomplice’s house, but he diverted his course and rather led them to his (Gregory’s) father’s house.
He said Alangdi, sensing that the police were closing in on him packed some belongings and ran away with his wife, leaving their baby in the house.
The prosecution said the police retrieved the gallon which contained the acid and a cup from the crime scene and took them to the Police Headquarters in Accra for forensic examination.
He told the court that crimes such as subversion, rape, murder, defilement and other high profile crimes, are unbailable offences and asked that the suspect be remanded in police custody, to enable the police to further investigate the case.
Two members of the suspect’s legal team, Mr. Ekow Korsah and Mr Alfred Agyei Mensah, prayed, for bail for their client, saying they were all saddened by Adam’s death and pointed out that under the 1992 Constitution, anyone put before a competent court of law for committing an offence is deemed innocent, until proven guilty.
They said it was instructive that the prosecution kept referring to their client as a “suspect” and that since his plea was not taken, it behoved the police to be cautious, so that an innocent man is not convicted.
They argued that their appeal for bail was within Section 96 (1) of Act 30 which gave the court the power to admit anyone brought before it to bail and that Section 96 (7) was applicable only when the facts fit the offence from the criminal procedure code, but the facts presented by prosecution did not fit the offence before the honourable court.
Having listened to the submission of the lawyers, the judge refused the suspect bail, and adjourned the case to June 9.
By Castro Zangina-Tong