Afoko’s Lawyer Reported Sick
The trial of Gregory Afoko, who has been accused of murdering the Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Adams Mahama, has been adjourned to June 18, 2018.
This was after the court was informed that Osafo Buaben, counsel for the accused person, had fallen sick.
The prosecution was expected to present the 11th of 15 witnesses to give his or her evidence-in-chief today.
When the case was called, the presiding judge, Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, noted that the lawyer had written to court to inform it about his health conditions.
The case was subsequently adjourned by one week to allow the lawyer to recuperate.
The state represented by Matthew Amponsah, a chief state attorney, was in court and did not oppose the adjournment.
Gregory Afoko was also brought by the personnel from the Ghana Prisons Service while the full complement of the jury was also available.
So far, the prosecution has presented 10 out of 15 prosecution witnesses who have all told the court what they know about the case and how they got involved.
A toxicologist at the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Peter Quartey Papafio, was last month discharged by the court after he had given his evidence-in-chief and was cross-examined by the defence counsel.
He told the court in his evidence that the substance which was poured on the late Adams was 16.89 molar sulphuric acid with 90 to 95 per cent purity.
“Sulphuric acid with the above concentration was detected in the liquid substance of exhibit A (gallon containing acid). It is very corrosive and causes severe injury upon contact with the skin. Due to the corrosive nature of sulphuric acid it can cause death upon contact”, he explained.
He told the court that all the items referred to him by the police as exhibits had traces of the sulphuric acid which was poured on the deceased.
He stated that a track suit which had acid burns and is said to belong to Afoko also had traces of the acid which is the same as the acid in the gallon which was allegedly poured on the late Adams Mahama.
He added that the 'deterioration' of the deceased person's clothes and shoes is also linked to the action of the corrosive nature of the concentrated sulphuric acid.
The cross-examination by defence counsel, Osafo Buaben, focused much on the said 'acid-burnt track suit' which is said to belong to Afoko.
He said the sulphuric acid could not burn the track suit because it was a rain coat and the acid could only cause stains because of the texture. But the witness responded by saying the track suit was a nylon-polyester track suit hence the burns.
The lawyer argued that Afoko was a motor rider and the burn of the lower part of the track suit was caused by the hot exhaust pipe of his motorcycle.
The witness refuted this saying, “It is highly improbable to cause those burns but as to whether they are burns from the motorcycle I would not know”.
Another witness Detective Sergeant, Benjamin Kusi, had told the court that the accused person misled crime officers in their attempt to arrest one Asabke Alangdi, a suspect in the case who is on the run.
Other witnesses have also told the court about different circumstances under which they got involved in the matter.
Meanwhile, the court presided over by Justice Lawrence L. Mensah has asked the prosecution to assemble all of its witnesses as he will not accept any excuses.
He said the case must end by close of next month and urged the prosecution and the defence to brace themselves up for an uninterrupted trial.