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General News Wed, 24 Oct 2018

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Afoko to open defence

The prosecution in the trial of Gregory Afoko who has been accused of murdering the Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Adams Mahama, has closed it case before an Accra High Court.

The prosecution led by Mathew Amponsah, a chief state attorney in presenting its case availed 14 prosecution witnesses including the wife of the deceased.

The case investigator, Detective Chief Inspector Augustine Nkrumah was the last prosecution witness and he had told the court the level of investigations carried into the gruesome murder of the late NPP official.

He ended his testimony yesterday after the defence team led by private legal practitioner, Osafo Buabeng, completed its cross-examination.

It was after the witness was discharged that Mr. Amponsah told the court that the state wishes to close its case as they have called all their witnesses in the matter.

Acid Bathe

The late Adams Mahama was allegedly attacked with substance which has been confirmed to be sulphuric acid on May 20, 2015 in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

He was rushed to the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital but he could not survive as the upper part of his body was seriously burnt.

He is said to have mentioned the name of Gregory Afoko and one Asabke Alangdi who is on the run as the ones who poured the acid on him.

Hajia Zeinabu Adams, wife of the deceased, Tofic Mutala as well as the case investigator, Detective Chief Inspector Augustine Nkrumah, in their testimonies told the court that Adams Mahama before his death mentioned Gregory Afoko as the one who had poured the acid on him.

Cause Of Death

A pathologist at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Lawrence Edusei in his evidence-in-chief before the court disclosed that the late Adams Mahama died of unnatural death due to extensive acid burns, a pathologist has told an Accra High Court.

Dr. Lawrence Edusei who performed the post-mortem on the deceased noted that the late NPP official who suffered an acid bathe allegedly caused by Gregory Afoko died of shocked lungs due to the extensive burns.

Led in his evidence-in-chief by Mathew Amponsah, a senior state attorney, the witness stated that 81 percent of Adams Mahama’s body surface was burnt as a result of the acid bathe.

“He had extensive burns involving both the upper and the lower limbs, the head and face, chest – both the front and the back, the abdominal wall, the front and the back. If you take the whole body as 100 percent, then, 81 percent of the body was burnt”, Dr. Edusei confirmed.

The pathologist further told the court that the late Adams Mahama had a dead skin as result of the acid burns and the burnt areas felt like leather.

Forensic Analysis

A Forensic Toxicologist and Chemist at the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Peter Quartey Papafio, confirmed that the substance that was poured on the late Adams Mahama was sulphuric acid.

Mr. Papafio who analyzed the substance as well as other samples submitted by the police for testing, told the court that the substance tested positive for sulphuric acid with 16.89 molar with 90 to 95 percent purity.

“Sulphuric acid with the above concentration was detected in the liquid substance of exhibit A (gallon containing acid). It is very corrosive and causes severe injury upon contact with the skin. Due to the corrosive nature of sulphuric acid it can cause death upon contact”, the court heard.

He told the court that there were eight separate exhibits which he designated as exhibits A to H. The exhibits, he said, included a gallon with liquid suspected to be acid, carpet from Adams’ vehicle, a pair of shoes belonging to Adams and his dress and burnt foam material of a car seat.

The rest were burnt pieces of material soaked with liquid substance, transparent zip lock bag found in the car, track suit belonging to Afoko and a plastic cup suspected to have been used in pouring the acid.

Police Exhibits

The prosecution through Detective Chief Inspector Nkrumah tendered in evidence a gallon containing residue of acid, vehicle’s interior rubber carpet, pair of shoes belonging to the deceased and the dress he was wearing at the time the acid was poured on him, and a sample from the seat of the vehicle.

The rest include a pair of tracksuit trousers belonging to Afoko, car seat sample, part of the vehicle’s seat foam, an empty Voltic bottle with whitish substance which was found in the vehicle, a plastic cup allegedly used in pouring the acid on the deceased.

Burnt Tracksuit

A prosecution witness, DSP Thomas Yaw Agbanyo who was part of the police officers who went to Afoko’s house to arrest him after he turned out to be the prime suspect, told the court under cross examination that police investigators who searched the accused person’s room found a track suit which had acid burns on it in the room.

He said the acid on the track suit matched with the one that was poured on the deceased NPP official who sustained serious degrees of burns, leading to his death.

The case investigator also confirmed this evidence when he testified before the court. He, however, told the court that the police did not find anything incriminating in Afoko’s room when they searched it the first time.

Defence

Meanwhile, the court presided over by Justice Lawrence L. Mensah has ordered Gregory Afoko to open his defence following the decision of the case of the prosecution.

Afoko is expected to open his defence on November 19, 2018 to tell his side of the story when the case resumes. It is unclear how many witnesses he would call in defence.

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

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