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2nd suspect in NPP chairman's murder arrested, case goes for fresh trial

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
Asabke Alangdi
Asabke Alangdi

The second suspect in the murder of the former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Adams Mahama, has been arrested.

The suspect, Asabke Alangdi was busted in the Ivory Coast on January 25, 2019, following collaboration between Ghana’s security agencies and Interpol.

48-hour arraignment
Briefing the press on the arrest of Alangdi, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said “The fugitive’s arrest came after over a year of surveillance and search during which he moved camps from Burkina Faso to Ivory Coast.

He said the suspect is expected to be put before a court for committal trial to begin in the next 48 hours. He is currently in police custody.

The minister stated that Asabke was the second person believed to have conspired with the first suspect Gregory Afoko in the murder of the deceased Mr Mahama on May 20, 2015.

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“It will be recalled that on that day Mr Mahama was attacked in front of his home in Bolgatanga with acid leading to his death,” he stated.

According to him, investigations revealed that Mr Mahama’s death was caused by Afoko and Alangdi.

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“Alangdi however fled the Ghanaian jurisdiction in the days after the murder and has been on the run since. Ghana’s security agencies have been on a manhunt for him since then.

“Afoko was however apprehended by police and has been put on trial since,” he stated, saying Afoko’s case had been ongoing in the Accra High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, and that the case has been adjourned to February 20, 2019 for lawyers to address the jury.

Retrial of two suspects
Mr Nkrumah said while the trial had been ongoing, consistent efforts were made to apprehend the fugitive, Alangdi until he was arrested on January 25, January 2019 with the assistance of Interpol.

He pointed out that the arrest of Alangdi has necessitated the filing of a nolle prosequi in respect of the ongoing trial in the case of the Republic Vrs Gregory Afoko.

“This has been done about an hour ago with the objective of discontinuing the initial trial to enable the two accused persons to be tried together to best serve the interest of justice.

“Committal proceedings for the two accused persons will commenced shortly for them to stand trial as soon as possible,” he stated, pointing out that the two would be charged with conspiracy and murder.

Speedy trial
To ensure the speedy trial of the two, Mr Nkrumah said the state intended to pray the Chief Justice to assign a dedicated judge for an expedited trial of the two persons, considering the background of the case.

“Government assures all Ghanaians that it will not relent on any efforts to bring the perpetrators of crimes within this jurisdiction to book,” he added.

Afoko’s trial
On January 26, 2019, the defence counsel in the case involving Gregory Afoko, accused of murdering the former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) closed their case after a series of adjournments by the Accra High Court to enable them to bring in their witness.

The defence, represented in court by Madam Benedicta Antwi, told the court that their witness was still not available, and as such would want to close their case.
The prosecution, led by a State Attorney, Mr Mathew Amponsah, did not object to that.

The court said it was the constitutional obligation of the court to give the defence the time to do their case therefore ordered the defence to file their closing address on or before February 8, this year while the prosecution must react by way of closing address on or before February 19, 2019.