Law & Crime Politics

Afoko trial – eighth prosecution witness testifies

Accra, May 17, GNA – The prosecution in the case involving Gregory Afoko, accused of murdering the former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), on Thursday presented its eighth witness.

The witness Detective Sergeant Benjamin Kusi in his evidence in chief told the court that he was formerly stationed at the Bolgatanga Regional CID as a Detective Corporal, but is now stationed at the Ministries police station as a detective sergeant.

He said he knew Hajia Zuweira Adams, DSP Agbanyo and Taufic, after the incident, but did not know the other witnesses in the case, saying he had known Taufic as an aide to Mr Adams four years before the incident happened.

“I also know DSP Agbanyo because we were working together in Bolgatanga and he was in charge of the police patrol team.”

He told the court that he also knew the accused in Bolgatanga four years prior to the incident and he was usually called by the name ‘rasta man’, but did not know the suspect Asabke Alangde in person but heard his name in connection to the incident.

The witness again said he knew Mr Adams, the deceased, in Bolgatanga as the NPP Regional Chairman and a contractor for five years.

He recollected that on May 20, 2015, he was detailed for night patrol duties with DSP Agbanyo and three other policemen namely Lance Corporal Lambet Amenah, Corporal Eric Ofosu now deceased and Constable Esther Yeboah in the Bolgatanga Township.

At about 0030 to 0130 hours on May 21, 2015, around Yikine link, a suburb of Bolgatanga, a vehicle coming from Navrongo direction stopped by them, and the occupant, one Bombarde, the NPP regional treasurer told them that he had been informed that some people had poured a substance suspected to be acid on Mr Adams and that he had been rushed to the Bolgatanga 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 Adams at the emergency ward lying on the hospital bed with lots of people around him, including Hajia Adams and Taufic.

“We saw severe burns on the upper part of his body with his flesh peeling off.”

According to the witness, Taufic told them that, when he got to the hospital, Mr Adams told him what had happened, and upon the information DSP Agbanyo informed the Regional Commander and the crime officer.

Mr Kusi said the patrol team then proceeded to the crime scene at the Bolgatanga SSNIT flats accompanied by Hajia Adams and Taufic

“When we got there we saw a white pickup, the engine and lights were on, with the driver side door opened and windows rolled down. DSP Agbanyo opened the door wider in order to have easy access into the car, but because of the heat and stench he was unable to enter.”

The witness said, Hajia Adams picked a white gallon beside the car and gave to DSP Agbanyo and he handed same over to me, as well as a black polythene bag from the ground beside the car and gave to him.

He said she told them the bag contained the dress Mr Adams was wearing at the time of the incident and that the gallon was left behind by the attackers.

He said at the moment the crime officer and his team also arrived and Constable James Young took pictures of the car.

“There was general lights out at the scene, but because of the lights of the car the place was a little illuminated.”

Mr Kusi said they proceeded to the accused’s house at Bolgatanga estates with Taufic in the patrol team car and Hajia Adams in the crime officer’s car.

“I was positioned at the gate of his house, while the crime officer and his team together with DSP Agbanyo entered the house. They later came out with the accused in handcuffs and put 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, and so they should arrest him.

He said when they got to Tanzui, they asked Afoko to show them Asabke’s house but he showed them the wrong one. They later found his house but on arrival he was nowhere to be found.

The witness said the crime officer then took Taufic and Hajia Adams back to the hospital and took Afoko to the police station, while they continued their patrol duties.

He said he later gave his statement to the police.

During cross examination, counsel for the accused Mr Francis Gariba Apam asked how many hours they spent at the crime scene, but the witness said he could not remember the number of hours, but they did not spend more than an hour, adding that they left the scene around 0200 and 0230 hours.

When asked whether he attempted to enter the vehicle, he told the court that he did not because, they also felt the heat from the car at a distance and so did not try after DSP Agbanyo attempted.

He stressed that the heat was from the car and not the engine, adding that at the time they were leaving the scene to arrest the accused person, the engine was still running.

Counsel again asked Mr Kusi whether he checked the content of the polythene bag when it was handed over to him, but he answered saying, he did not.

At this point the case was adjourned to Friday, May 18, for continuation of cross examination. The prosecution is also expected to bring its next witness on that day.

At the last sitting the seventh prosecution witness Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Thomas Yaw Agbanyo, now District Commander for Kpene District, and former Public Affairs officer, Bolgatanga Regional Headquarters, was discharged by the court after responding to questions from the defence counsel.

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

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