NPP Chairman’s murder, Afoko pleads not guilty 3rd time in 8 years

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Gregory Afoko, the farmer accused of murdering Adams Mahama, has, for the third time in eight years, pleaded not guilty to conspiring with convict, Asabke Alangdi, to murder the former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Upper East Regional Chairman.

 

Alangdi, who has already been convicted on the charge of conspiracy, also pleaded not guilty last Thursday to murder at the court, presided over by Justice Maries-Louis Simmons.

 

The two are to stand trial together.

 

Four women and three men have been empanelled to serve as jurors for the trial.

 

The case has been adjourned to February 2 this year for case management conference.

 

Verdict

In April this year, a seven-member jury of a court, presided over by Justice Merley Afua Wood, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge, returned a final verdict which unanimously found Asabke Alangdi guilty on the charge of conspiring with Gregory Afoko to kill Mahama in 2015, but returned a 4-3 verdict of not guilty on the charges of conspiracy to commit murder and murder for Afoko.

 

By the verdict, the two were not guilty of the offence of murder.

 

Alangdi was, however, found guilty of the offence of conspiracy to commit murder, thus the court proceeded to pass the mandatory sentence of death on him.

 

He has since appealed the decision.

The brief facts of the case were that on May 14, 2015, Gregory’s brother, Paul Afoko, and Kwabena Agyepong, then National Chairman and General Secretary, respectively, of the NPP, arrived in Bolgatanga for a meeting.

 

It stated that the deceased organised some thugs to violently attack the two, scuttling the planned meeting at the Azumsolon Guest House for campaigning against the then flag bearer of the party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and also for not notifying him of the meeting.

 

The situation, according to the prosecution, was later brought under control by the police.

The accused, who was then upset, confronted Mahama but was chased out by thugs.

 

Another group

It also noted that Gregory and Asabke formed another youth group in their bid to protect persons perceived to be against Nana Akufo-Addo.

 

It said the accused persons held series of meetings with the youth, and on May 20, 2015, they laid ambush at Mahama’s residence with a substance suspected to be acid.

 

“The deceased returned home around 11:10 p.m. in his pick-up vehicle with registration number NR 761 – 14, and immediately he parked the vehicle in front of his house, the suspects went close and signalled him to roll down the glass,” the prosecution claimed.

 

“The deceased identified the suspects to be party members, and rolled down the glass to talk to them.

 

“Suddenly, the suspects poured the substance, suspected to be acid, on his head, face and other parts of his body and fled on a motorbike.

 

“The deceased started screaming for help and his wife, Hajia Zenabu Adams, went to his aid and managed to bring him out of the vehicle,” the prosecution added.

 

Injuries

According to the prosecution, Mahama’s wife also sustained burns on the right side of her chest and breast while assisting her husband.

 

It said when she enquired about what had happened to her husband, he told her that Gregory and Asabke had attacked him.

Mahama died while being airlifted to Accra for treatment.

 

Gregory, who was later picked up, led the police to Asabke’s father’s house.

 

The police later located Asabke’s house but he had then absconded with his wife, abandoning their baby in the process.

 

A post-mortem report on Mahama said he died of shocked lungs and extensive acid burns.

 

Source – Graphic online

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