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28.11.2019 General News

No Bail For Afoko— Supreme Court Affirms

By News Desk
Gregory Afoko
NOV 28, 2019 GENERAL NEWS

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a decision of an Accra High Court to rescind the bail granted Gregory Afoko, the prime suspect in the murder of the late Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Adams Mahama.

A five-member panel held that the judge did not err in revoking the bail which was granted Afoko by another court in March.

The court presided over by Justice Jones Victor Dotse and assisted by Justices Yaw Apau, Gabriel Pwamang, Samuel Marful-Sau and Prof. Nii Ashie Kotey subsequently dismissed an application by Afoko that was seeking an order to quash the decision of the High Court.

Initial Bail

An Accra High Court presided over by Justice George Buadi in March granted Afoko bail of GH¢500,000 with two sureties, one to be justified.

The court further ordered the accused person to report himself once every two weeks to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the Police Headquarters in Accra.

This was after the Attorney General had entered nolle prosequi to discontinue Afoko's trial following the arrest of another suspect in the matter, Asabke Alangdi.

The two have since been committed by a District Court to stand trial again at the High Court on two counts of conspiracy and murder.

Overturned Decision

The bail was, however, rescinded by an Accra High Court presided over by Justice Merley Wood, a Court of Appeal judge, when the accused persons were put before her.

This followed an oral application by Marina Appiah Opare, a Chief State Attorney, who said the other court granted Afoko bail on the grounds that his trial was yet to commence and the republic was uncertain as to when the trial would begin and that he had been in custody without trial since his arrest.

Afoko's lawyers opposed the prosecution's request, saying the court which granted the application for bail had taken into consideration all the issues and said the state could not allege that Afoko was a flight risk but the court rejected the argument.

Certiorari Application

Not satisfied, Afoko filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking an order to quash the revocation of his bail and also to prohibit the judge from hearing the case.

Moving the application, his lawyer Osafo Buabeng argued that the mere filing of a nolle prosequi by the AG did not terminate the trial and insisted that the accused person ought to have been brought before the trial court for him to be discharged.

He said since he was not discharged, it implied that the first trial was still ongoing and, therefore, could not be put before another court based on the same charges.

AG's Opposition

The application was opposed by the Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, who said once nolle prosequi is entered, it automatically terminates the ongoing trial.

He added that it is not true that one High Court had granted bail and another had revoked it, arguing that there is only one High Court with several divisions.

Judge

Justice Pwamang interjected and said when bail is granted an accused person during a committal proceeding, the bail ceases to exist.

Besides, he said once the accused person is committed for trial, it becomes the discretion of the trial judge to maintain the bail or remand the accused person.

Ruling

The panel then dismissed the application, saying “it has no basis and fails.”

—Daily Guide

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