Gregory Afoko was silent when arrested — Lawyer
Lawyers for Gregory Afoko, the man standing trial for the murder of a former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Alhaji Adams Mahama, Wednesday grilled the seventh prosecution witness at the Accra High Court.
The witness, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Thomas Yaw Agbenyo, in his testimony last Tuesday told the court that Afoko, after his arrest, described Alhaji Mahama as a “foolish man”.
However, during cross-examination on Wednesday, counsel for Afoko, Mr Francis Gariba Apam, disputed the witness’s claim.
According to counsel, Afoko, after his arrest and caution, remained silent and, therefore, could not have uttered those words to the police.
Below are excerpts of the exchanges that transpired between counsel and the witness.
Counsel: Did you caution the accused person before arresting him?
Witness: Yes, that was done by the crime officer.
Counsel: The accused did not engage in any conversation with the police after his arrest.
Witness: He was asked to remain silent after his caution, but he continued to talk.
He needed to remain silent, but did not remain silent.
Alhaji Mahama suffered severe bodily injury after a substance suspected to be acid was allegedly poured on him in front of his house in Bolgatanga around 11 p.m. on May 20, 2015. He later died from the injuries at the Bolgatanga General Hospital.
Afoko has denied any involvement in the murder and pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
A former Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Upper East Regional Police Command, DSP Agbenyo, in his evidence, had told the court that he was part of a patrol team that was alerted about Alhaji Mahama’s death; and, therefore, proceeded to arrest Afoko.
He testified that Afoko was arrested because Alhaji Mahama, before his death, mentioned him (Afoko) and Asabke Alangi, the other accused person currently at large, as the people who attacked him with acid.
At Wednesday’s cross-examination, the witness further told the court that the team that arrested Afoko did not find anything incriminating in Afoko’s house.
He, however, claimed the investigation team that later went to Afoko’s house found a tracksuit burnt with acid.
The acid, he claimed, matched with the acid that was found at the scene where Alhaji Mahama was supposedly attacked.
At that point, Mr Apam asked the witness how he got to know about the tracksuit since he was not part of the investigating team that went to Afoko’s house.
DSP Agbenyo answered that as the Police PRO, he was made aware of the facts of the investigations.
Counsel further grilled DSP Agbenyo on the claim of the tracksuit.
He reiterated that the witness had indicated that the first police team that went to Afoko’s house did not find anything incriminating.
“We knew very well that we will not find anything because he will not keep such things in the house,” DSP Agbenyo answered.
After the cross-examination, the foreman of the seven-member jury also asked the DSP questions relating to the said tracksuit.
“Were there any forensic laboratory tests conducted on the tracksuit?” the foreman asked.
But the presiding judge, Mr Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, disallowed the question on the basis that DSP Agbenyo was not the investigator in the case.
“The investigator will soon take the stand as a witness and you can ask him that question,” Justice Mensah said.
Hearing continues tomorrow for the prosecution to call its eighth witness.