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Gregory Afoko’s bail application dismissed after 8 years of remand

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Afoko, a farmer, was one of the two individuals held for the death of Adams Mahama, the New Patriotic Party‘s Upper East Regional Chairman.

In April, a seven-member jury returned a 4:3 not guilty verdict for Afoko on charges of conspiracy and murder, resulting in a hung jury. The High Court ordered a retrial by Justice Afua Merley Wood, a Justice of the Court of Appeal.

Afoko’s counsel, Stephen Sowah Charway, moved the application for bail, which was opposed by the State Prosecutor, Dorm Esi Fiadzo.

The court, presided over by Justice Louise Simmons, ruled that there had not been an unreasonable delay in Afoko’s retrial.

Although he had been in custody for eight years, it was acknowledged by both the prosecution and the defense that two separate trials had taken place within that period.

Justice Simmons further stated that since the second trial ended on April 27, 2023, there had only been a month of inactivity, which was attributed to the prosecution awaiting the case to be assigned by the Chief Justice.

The court emphasized that the power to grant bail lies within the judge’s discretion. Ultimately, the application for bail was refused and dismissed.

During the proceedings, Afoko was absent as he is currently on remand at the Nsawam Prison.

Afoko’s counsel argued that his continuous detention was unjustifiable and unconstitutional. He highlighted that Afoko had not displayed any rebellious behavior and had no prior convictions.

Counsel emphasized Afoko’s constitutional right to bail and stated that he was prepared to fulfill all bail conditions and comply with the retrial order.

The prosecution countered by stating that Afoko was unable to fulfill his bail conditions in 2019, leading to his continued lawful custody.

The State Prosecutor stressed that although Afoko was presumed innocent, he remained in custody until a jury acquitted him. She asserted that there had been no unreasonable delay in the case, considering the first trial was truncated due to the arrest of the second accused.

The prosecution also assured the court that they were ready for the retrial, with witnesses prepared to testify expeditiously once assigned by the Chief Justice. They expressed concerns that granting bail could lead to Afoko absconding and potentially hindering the pursuit of justice.

Meanwhile, Asabke Alangdi, the second accused who was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to death, has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal challenging his conviction and sentencing.

 

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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