Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Afoko dodges as he avoids cameras on first court appearance

Since news broke that the police have arrested Gregory Afoko in connection with the death of the Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Alhaji Adams Mahama, from an acid attack, the picture of the suspect has been missing in traditional and on social media.
A few images of Gregory Afoko that made it to the media scene did not expose the suspect’s face, making it difficult for members of the public to determine how he looked, except for the fact that he sported long dreadlocks.
When the opportunity came for the media to take shots of him at the Accra District Court Tuesday, the suspect again dodged the sharp lenses of the paparazzi with the aid of the dreadlocks. 
When he stepped out to the avalanche of photographers at the court, he cleverly escaped the ‘clicks’ of the cameras.
Those who managed shots could only capture other parts of his body without his face. 
The suspect was not scared of the fact that he was in the grip of the law and managed to exercise free expression by dodging the cameras. 
Gregory, a younger brother of the Chairman of the NPP, was earlier yesterday remanded in custody for allegedly killing Alhaji Mahama.
Gregory was remanded by the court to reappear on June 9, 2015 after the court, presided over by Mr Worlanyo Kotoku, had declined a bail application from counsel for the accused person.
Defence lawyer, Mr Stephen Ekow Korsah, prayed the court to grant his client bail, but it refused and, accordingly, remanded Gregory, who has been charged with two counts of conspiracy and murder.
Gregory, a farmer, has been accused, together with Asabke Alangdi, a member of the NPP, for allegedly committing the offence on May 20, 2015. 
Asabke is currently on the run.
The two are alleged to have poured acid on Alhaji Mahama on May 20, 2015, resulting in his death the following day.
Gregory’s plea was not taken.
Facts of the case
According to the facts of the case, as presented by the prosecutor, Mr Francis Baah, on May 14, 2015, Gregory’s brother, Mr Paul Afoko, and the General Secretary of the NPP, Mr Kwabena Agyepong, arrived in Bolgatanga for a meeting.
“The deceased organised some thugs to violently attack them, scuttling the planned meeting at the Azumsolon Guest House, for campaigning against the flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and also not notifying him of the meeting. The situation was later brought under control by the police,” the prosecution said.
According to the prosecution, an upset Gregory confronted Mahama but he was chased out by thugs.
Another group
The facts 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 a 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, 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 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 the aid of the deceased and managed to bring him out of the vehicle,” the prosecution stated.
According to the prosecution, Mahama’s wife sustained burns on the right side of her chest and breast while assisting her husband. 
When she inquired about what had happened to him, he told her Gregory and Asabke had attacked him.
The prosecution said Mahama continuously shouted and screamed out of pain and repeatedly mentioned Gregory and Asabke as the ones who had attacked him in the presence of neighbours and friends who had rushed to take him to the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital.
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 gallon which contains some of the substance and a plastic cup were retrieved at the scene for forensic examination,” the facts stated.
Post-mortem report
A post-mortem report on Mahama said he died of shock lungs and extensive acid burns. 
Investigations are ongoing.

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