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A pathologist has told an Accra High Court that the late Adams Mahama remained conscious, fully alert and well-oriented moments before his death on May 21, 2015.
He said although the deceased Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) suffered first and second degree burns, with 81 percent of his body burnt, it was easy for him to answer questions posed by others.
Dr. Lawrence Edusei, the 13th prosecution witness in the trial of Gregory Afoko, who has been accused of murdering the former NPP regional chairman, told the court that the fact that Adams Mahama sustained burns on 81 percent of his body does not necessarily mean that he was in excruciating pain.
The pathologist’s statement was in response to assertions by the defence lawyer, Osafo Buabeng that he (Adams) could not have conversed with another person because of the severe burns sustained.
Two witnesses earlier informed the court that Adams Mahama told Tofic Mutala that Gregory Afoko and one Asabke Alangdi, who is on the run, poured acid on him.
Giving his testimony, Tofic corroborated the evidence of Hajia Zeinabu Adams, the wife of the deceased that Adams Mahama identified Afoko and Alangdi as the culprits.
But the defence lawyer vehemently rejected that evidence, saying due to the excruciating pain the deceased was suffering, he could not have engaged in any conversation with them.
But the pathologist, under cross-examination yesterday, told the court that it was easy for a person in that condition to have meaningful conversation with others.
Cause Of Death
The cross-examination of the witness, which lasted for almost three hours, centered on the cause of death of Adams Mahama.
Although the pathologist, in his evidence-in-chief, told the court that he died of extensive acid burns, the defence lawyer said that opinion was an afterthought.
He averred that the pathologist, in his summary autopsy report, indicated that there were two causes of death- shock lungs and extensive acid burns.
He accused the pathologist of limiting the cause of death to extensive acid burns because of the information the police gave him and media reports at the time of the death of Adams Mahama.
However, Dr. Edusei rejected the claims, saying the shock lungs was a consequence of the acid burns.
“From my full autopsy report, under respiratory system what was initially used as shock lungs is explained there. Drawing the conclusion, the primary cause of death is the extensive acid burns,” the pathologist said.
He debunked claims by the defence lawyer that Adams Mahama died as a result of cardiac arrest because he was hypertensive.
“Everybody dies from your heart stopping working. So that is cardiac arrest. The heart has stopped. From my previous immediate answer cardiac arrest is that your heat has stopped. Hypertensive or non-hypertensive your heart has stopped,” Dr. Edusei retorted.
“I am putting it to you that your conclusion that the cause of death was due to extensive acid burns is without any basis,” the lawyer quizzed.
“It was based on findings, both external examination and sample sent to the laboratory for analysis,” the pathologist added.
Meanwhile, the court, presided over by Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, has ordered the medical directorate of the Ghana Prisons Service, Nsawam to send Afoko to the Department of Surgery at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for examination of his body.
His lawyer told the court that the accused person had drawn his attention to a peculiar medical problem which needed medical attention.
The case has been adjourned to July, 31, 2018.
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