Afoko trial: Seventh prosecution witness discharged

The seventh prosecution witness in the case involving Gregory Afoko, accused of murdering the former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was on Wednesday discharged by the court at the end of cross examination by counsel for the accused.

The witness Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Thomas Yaw Agbanyo, now District Commander foe Kpene District, and former Public Affairs Regional officer, Bolgatanga Regional Headquarters, ended his evidence in chief and subsequently responded to questions from the defence counsel.

Continuing from where he ended at the last adjourned date, he told the court that he did not check the number of hours they spent at the hospital and also the gallon they found at the scene was given to them by Hajia Adams.

“We saw Hajia Adams move to the side of the vehicle and brought it to us, I was the one who received the gallon from her and gave it to Benjamin Kusi, who was part of the patrol team,” he said.

When asked whether he examined the content of the gallon at the scene, he replied “not exactly,” but there was some liquid which was black in colour in the gallon, and I just handed it over to Mr Kusi.

Counsel for the accused asked how he got to know the colour of the content since he said there was no light in the whole Bolga township at the time.

DSP Agbanyo said although there was no light, the light of the vehicle was on so it illuminated the house.

He said they did not cordon the crime scene because the team did not have cordon tape but the investigation team later did that.

He said he only saw Mr Adams at the hospital, and could not tell whether the cloths handed over to them by Hajia Adams were the cloths that he wore on that day. “It was Hajia who brought it to us, so she told us that.”

DSP Agbanyo told the court that, there were several people in the house when they arrived there.

He disputed the fact by the accused counsel that, Hajia Adams went into the room and picked the cloths and the gallon because they saw her walk to the side of the vehicle and picked them.

He confirmed that in his statement to the police he said that during a search at the accused’s house they did not find anything incriminating.

“We did a preliminary search at the house in his presence. But we know he will not keep the acid in the house,” he said.

He said after the preliminary search they did not conduct further search, but got to know later after the investigative team took over they found a track suit of the accused in his house and there was an acid burn on it which later matched the one found at the crime scene.

The defence counsel asked him how he came by that information, and he said at the time he was the Public Affairs Officer of the Regional Police headquarters so he got facts as the investigations were going on.

When asked how many people took part in the preliminary search, he answered that it was the patrol team numbering five, an investigator, as well as a photographer, but he was not certain about the number.

“It was myself, Sgt Benjamin Kusi, Lance Corporal Lambal Amenah, one Eric, then a lady Esther, the crime officer, Alex Frimpong and the Photographer whose name I have forgotten,” he said.

He however noted that he was not part of the second search so could not tell how many people took part.

He said he had known the accused for ten years and always pass by his house when going to work.

DSP Agbanyo told the court that Taufic was the one who led them to Afoko’s house.

The defence counsel then ended his cross examination, so the witness was discharged by the court.

The prosecution is expected to present its next witness on Thursday May 17.

At the previous sitting on Tuesday, the witness gave his evidence in chief saying he had known the accused for over ten years, the first prosecution witness (Hajia Adams and forth prosecution witness (Mutala Taufic), as well as the deceased, Mr Adams Mahama.

He said he knew Mr Adams to be an assistant to the Former Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, and anytime the late vice president was in Bolgatanga, he being the PRO of the Regional Headquarters was there to cover him.

He recollected that on May 20, 2015, he was on patrol duties with four other officers in the Bolgatanga Township, and at about 0130 hours on May 21, 2015, around Yikine link, a suburb of Bolga, when a vehicle from Navrongo direction stopped by them, and the occupant introduced himself as a member of the New Patriotic Party Regional executives.

The witness said the person told them that some people had poured a substance suspected to be acid on Mr Adams and that he had been rushed to the Bolga government hospital so he was heading towards the hospital.

He told the court that the patrol team then followed him to the hospital, and when they got there they saw Mr Mahama at the emergency ward lying on the hospital bed with a cloth around his waist, with the medical team attending to him.

DSP Agbanyo said there were burns on the upper part of his body with his flesh peeling off and that there were many people around Mr Adams when they arrived including Mr Taufic and Hajia Adams.

According to the witness, Taufic told them that, when he got to the hospital, Mr Adams told him that, when he closed from work and got home, Afoko and Asabke poured acid on him, and that if he dies it was the two who killed him.

He said he called his Regional Commander DCOP Simon Afeku and informed him as well as the Regional Crime Officer Alex Asamoah Frimpong.

He said they left together with Taufic and Hajia Adams, to the crime scene at Bolga SSNIT Flat. “When we got there we saw a white pickup, the engine was on, and the front door was opened.”

The witness said, Hajia Adams gave them a polythene bag containing the dress Mr Adams was wearing at the time of the incident, as well as a gallon containing some liquid which we took to the police station as evidence.

He told the court that, from there Taufic took them to Afoko’s house and they arrested him and kept him in the patrol vehicle and asked him to take them to Asabke’s house.

He said on their way Afoko asked why they were following the ‘foolish’ Adams and that Adams had a pistol which he had not registered.

DSP Agbanyo said Afoko continued by saying “this group will remain and that they will resist any attempt by Mr Adams to obstruct the National Chairman of the NPP. Mr Paul Afoko from carrying out his duties in Bolga and that they will show him when he attempts to stop them.”

He said upon questioning, Afoko told them that the name of the group numbering about 50 was ‘friends of Afoko’, and Asabke was their Chairman.

He said when they got to Asabke’s house he was not home. The crime officer them took Taufic and Hajia Adams back to the hospital and took Afoko to the police station.

The prosecution has so far called six witnesses including Hajia Adams, Madam Issaka, Quinn, Taufic, Dominic, Awafo, and Thomas. They intend to call eight more witnesses.

Afoko, a farmer, is alleged to have killed Mr Mahama on May 20, 2015, and he is being held on the charges of conspiracy to commit crime to wit murder and murder.

He has pleaded not guilty before the Court, which is also composed of a seven-member jury.

It was alleged that Afoko carried out the act with Alandgi Asabke, who is on the run.

Source: GNA

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