Send Afoko to hospital; Court orders Prisons Service

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson

The Accra High Court hearing the murder trial of Gregory Afoko has ordered the Ghana Prisons Service to send the accused to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) for medical examination.

Afoko is standing trial for the alleged murder of a former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Alhaji Adams Mahama.

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Per the court’s order, the doctor who would examine the accused must furnish the court with his medical condition after the examination.

“It is hereby ordered that the Medical Directorate of the Ghana Prisons Service send the accused to the Department of Surgery, KBTH, for health examination,’’ the presiding judge, Mr Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, ordered Thursday.

The order followed a complaint by Afoko’s lawyer, Mr Osafo Buabeng, that his client’s health condition had deteriorated and he needed urgent medical attention but the Prisons Service was dragging its feet over sending him to hospital.


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Alleged murder

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.

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Another accused person, Asabke Alangi, is, however,on the run.

Pathologist

Earlier, the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Alhaji Mahama, Dr Lawrence Edusei, had given his evidence-in-chief and had been cross-examined by the defence counsel.

Dr Edusei, who was the 12th prosecution witness, told the court that the autopsy revealed that 81 per cent of Alhaji Mahama’s body had suffered acid burns.

The primary cause of the regional chairman’s death, he revealed, was extensive acid burns and that Alhaji Mahama died after suffering cardiac arrest

“He had extensive burns involving both the upper and lower limbs, the head, face, chest and abdominal wall. If you take the whole body as 100 per cent, 81 per cent got burnt,’’ the pathologist said.

Cross- examination

During the cross-examination, Mr Buabeng said Alhaji Mahama’s medical records showed that he suffered from hypertension.

He put it to the pathologist that a hypertensive person was more prone to suffer cardiac arrest, compared to a normal person, but Dr Edusei answered in the negative and explained that cardiac arrest happened when the heart stopped working.

“Everybody dies when the heart stops working and that is cardiac arrest. Hypertensive or not, you will suffer cardiac arrest when the heart stops,’’ he explained.

Counsel further suggested to the pathologist that he (pathologist) was influenced by media reports on Alhaji Mahama’s death in preparing the autopsy report.

Dr Edusei, however, refuted counsel’s suggestion.

The trial will continue on July 31, 2018, during which the prosecution is expected to call its 13th witness.

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