Supreme Court Affirms AG’s Decision In Afoko Trial

Gregory Afoko

The
Supreme Court has dismissed an application challenging the fairness and propriety
of the decision of the Attorney General to discontinue the trial of Gregory
Afoko who has been accused of murdering the Upper East Regional Chairman of the
New Patriotic Party (NDC), Adams Mahama.

His
lawyers filed the application at the Apex Court urging it to order the AG to go
back to the High Court to continue the trial which was nearing its conclusion.

According
to them, the decision by the AG to discontinue the trial just when the parties
were about to file their various addresses was unfair and unjust and was against
Articles 23 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution.

The
AG however, contended that the decision to discontinue the trial was done with
no intent of bias or unfairness.

A
seven-member panel of the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Julius Ansah
in a unanimous judgment dismissed the application saying Afoko’s lawyers failed
to show that the AG’s decision was arbitrary and unjust.

According
to the judges, the fact that the trial was nearing its conclusion did not
prevent the AG from taking the decision to discontinue it.

One
of the judges, Justice Gabriel Pwamang however, in a concurring opinion stated
the AG must be circusmspect in exercise its powers to discontinue trial as it
may have consequences on the criminal justice system.

Trial

Afoko
was on trial before an Accra High Court, charged with murder to which he
pleaded not guilty.

The
state had closed its case after calling 14 prosecution witnesses, including the
wife of the late Adams Mahama to prove its case against the accused.

Afoko
subsequently opened his defence and vehemently denied the charges preferred
against him.

He
called his elder brother, John Afoko as his only witness in the matter.

The
court presided over by Justice Lawrence L. Mensah then ordered Afoko to file
his statement after which the state will respond, and both parties taking turns
to address the court before the jury make a decision.

Nolle
Prosequi

But
the state on January 28, 2019 entered Nolle Prosequi to discontinue the matter
which has been before the court since 2016.

This
followed the arrest of Asabke Alangdi who has been hiding in Ivory Coast after
fleeing the country.

But lawyers for Afoko have filed a motion at the Apex Court to challenge the decision of the AG to enter the Nolle Prosequi.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak



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