The prosecution has told the General Jurisdiction of the Accra High Court that Gregory Afoko ended the former Upper Eastern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Adams Mahama’s life, because of the treatment against his brother, Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong, the then General Secretary of the party.
The prosecution, led by Chief State Attorney (CSP) Marine Appiah Opare, informed the court, presided over by Justice Afua Merley Wood that Gregory Afoko killed the regional chairman because he was angry with the deceased and disliked him.
According to her, the accused did not like the deceased to the extent that he did not show any sympathy when he was informed of his death.
The accused in response said every word the prosecution had told the court was untrue and that his brother is peaceful and a gentleman who has no quarrel with anybody.
He added that there was no reason to kill a human or take another person’s life when they needed numbers to win an election.
Mr Afoko also informed the court that the deceased was his sister’s son, hence they were related by blood, and that his (deceased’s) house was on his landed property at Sandema.
He told the court that although one Strongman informed him that the deceased was organising his boys to go and attack Kwabena Agyapong and his brother, he had no intention of killing Adams, neither did he plan with anybody, as the prosecution attempts to establish.
Gregory Afoko is being tried, together with Asabka Alange, for conspiracy to murder and murder. Both accused persons have pleaded not guilty and are still on remand.
Afoko opened his defence last week and yesterday was a continuation of his cross-examination by the prosecution.
The followings are some questions (Q) and answers (A) of the cross examination;
Q. Mr Afoko, in exhibit A, in your statement to the police, you said that after your meeting with A2 Baba, an old man at the drinking spot, you went to drop A2 in his house. Not so?
A. No my Lord, he (A2) dropped at the junction leading to his house and not his house.
Q. I’m putting it to you that you are untruthful to this court when you say you dropped A2 at the junction to his house. This is not what you said in exhibit A, your statement to the police. I’m putting that to you?
A. I’m being truthful to this court. I cannot come to the court and lie. But I think if my memory serves me right, though it has been 8 years, I quite remember I dropped him at his junction and not his house.
Q. Again, in your statement, exhibit A, you said you left the drinking spot at 8:30pm before going to drop A2 in his house?
A. It can’t be true because I was supposed to administer medicine at exactly 8pm and I quiet remember, I did not write the statement when inspector Charles Blay asked me. I remember, I said I am from Builsa North last Wednesday, madam made mention of Builsa West. So it could be one of those things.
Q. You see in exhibit A, your statement, which you have relied on all this while, you said that when you arrived home after dropping A2 in his house, the lights were out so you went to the house of your wife’s sister to charge your phones. Is that not so?
A. My lady, it has been eight years, I cannot recollect everything because where I am what I have been going through for the past eight years, I cannot recollect everything. But what I can recollect, I will honestly tell this honorable court.
Q. You further indicated in your exhibit A that from your wife’s sister home, you came back home and retired to bed?
A. All I can remember is that at exactly 8:00pm I have to administer medicine to my sick father, so when I got home I checked my time and it was exactly 8:01pm.
Q. I’m putting it to you that you never mentioned feeding your father and giving him medication in Exhibit A, because you did not do any of these things that evening of May 20, 2015?
A. What she is saying is not true because this work that I am doing for my dad started from 2014, I am the only one taking care of my sick father. There is a proof at Focus Orthopaedic Hospital. So what she is saying is not true.
Q. I’m also putting it to you that you did not get home at 8:00pm that day, as you want this court to believe?
A. My lady, when I came I swore by the cross, I’m a Catholic. There was someone in the house who saw my coming in [and] that was my brother… He saw me when I got home. It’s not true.
Q. I’m putting it to you, at 8:00pm on that day, you were with A2 and PW4 at the Lovers Inn Drinking Spot
A. That’s not true my Lord.
Q. I’m putting it to you further that your main reason for going to meet A2 and PW4 was not just to hand over the two NPP flags to them and return home, as you have told the court?
A. My Lord, that’s not true. The main reason why I went to the Lovers Inn with second accused, when I gave him the flags, he said no we should give it to the Secretary. When we got there Baba Apayaa was not immediately there so A2 asked me for a bottle of Guinness, which I bought for him.
But the time the server served him with the Guinness, Baba Apayaa, the Secretary, also came. I bought a bottle of Guinness for him. By then they were reading the 7pm news on TV3.
I sat on my motor to move, the second accused said he had not finished with his drink and pinpointed at an old man who was passing by, named Akaysia.
A2 introduced him to me and said this is one of the strong members of our party (that was the first I am meeting him). Then I replied him that he should give me a bottle of beer, since I was leaving and that the Secretary will brief him about the second day’s meeting.
The second accused had not finished drinking his bottle of Guinness, so he sat behind the back of the motor and we left. We got to the junction leading to his house. He dropped and I continued home. Since that evening I never saw him again until in court.
Q. I’m further putting it to you that you actually met him to discuss the formation of NPP youth group and the name to be given to the group?
A. That’s not true. We had earlier on met not that day. The previous days and we all tried to suggest names that we will use for the youth wing. We went there to handover two NPP flags to the NPP Secretary, we never went there to discuss the name to be given to the youth wing.
Q. I’m further putting it to you that the meeting lasted for about three hours and you dispersed after 10pm. I’m putting that to you?
A. That’s not true
Q. Your evidence that when the police arrested you at home, they did not tell you what you had done is an untruth. I’m putting it to you?
A. That’s not true. I asked them what I had done for them to arrest me and they said when we get to the police station they will inform me. Then the crime officer said they should search the house first before they leave.
Q. I’m putting it to you that they told you about what you have done and you told them about your activities that day?
A. That’s not true. I was with them. They didn’t tell me anything.
Q. You see, you told the police among other things that you went to your wife’s house that evening to eat and to charge your two phones, after which you met A2 over drinks. That’s what you told the police per the evidence of PW12 (DSP Agbanyo)?
A. That’s not true
Q. I’m putting it to you that your narration of activities on May 20, 2015 in your evidence in chief is totally different from your narration in Exhibit A, in your own statement in your narration to the police, when you were arrested at home?
A. That’s not true. When I was arrested, the crime officer told me to be quiet and that when I say anything it would be used against me in court. So they asked me where my room was, I showed them. They searched both my dad’s room and my room.
They searched the house, including the garage. After the search, they only asked me that where is A2’s house. I replied and said he lives at Tanzui. Then Tofiq told Mr Agbenyo that he knows there.
Tafiq and other police men took the first vehicle, the crime officer followed with his vehicle the third was what I was inside.
My lady, I never spoke until we got to A2 house after they went in and came back, and couldn’t find him, his father came out, an old man and because he couldn’t speak Frafra, they asked me to find out from him the whereabouts of his son. That’s the third time I spoke.
My lady, this whole matter, there is no single truth in whatever they (police) are saying because I have not sat down with A2 to plan about anything.
Q. I’m putting it to you that you have not been truthful to this honourable court because you know very well that it was you and second accused person who poured acid on the deceased, leading to his death?
A. My lady, that can never be true. I have not and will never do such a thing. My lady, I have never sat with A2 for a second to discuss about his murder. I cannot kill a human being.
Q. At the time of the incident you know where A2 lived?
A. Yes and No. Bolga is so small that if you want Mr A’s house you can easily be directed to it. I’m from Mr Afoko house, A2 is from Abonwoyire and they are the owners of the land, so I know their family house. Apart from that I don’t know anything.
Q. I’m putting it to you that you knew very well that where A2 lived was different from his family house. I’m putting that to you?
A. Not true. I only know his father’s house. We see ourselves but we are not that close, so I don’t know much about him and he also doesn’t know much about me.
Q. You deliberately send the police to the family house of A2 in order to afford him enough time to run away from the police?
A. That’s not true. Tofiq was ahead of us and he knows his family house and I knew that was his family house. Tofiq and the first police team led us, I was in the third vehicle, so we went to Abonwoyeri. What do I know he has done that I will give him an ample time to run away? I don’t know anything.
Q. You are aware a track suit (exhibit P) was retrieved from your room on May 22, 2015?
A. I was in Tamale Police cells when chief inspector Nkrumah and Mr William Sepoane came to tell me that they went to my father’s house in the presence of John Afoko, my elder brother – they took the down part of my raincoat (left the top). By word of mouth they told me. I only saw it with my eyes when we came to the police headquarters.
Q. I’m putting it to you that the track suit (exhibit P) was discovered by the police in your room, in the presence of your brother, John Afoko and Emmanuel Kama Jnr, who was in the house.
A. I cannot speak to this because on the night of May 20 when I was arrested, all my keys, I personally gave them to the police after they finished searching, till date I have not set my eyes on my keys and I believed the keys will still be with the police, not with John or Kama.
Q. I’m putting it to you that when the track suit was later shown to you by the police you identified it as yours?
A. My lady yes, they were in a box with other clothes in a box with cup, then one of the police men wore gloves and sorted the clothes out. There was a black trouser and another dress with my rain coat in the same box, so I identified my rain coat and I said those two dresses were not mine.
Q. I’m putting it to you that exhibit P, which was retrieved from your room has acid stains on it and you knew it?
A. It can never be true and it not true. This rain coat of mine is always in a rubber bag tie and I drop it inside my back pack. I used a motor to the farm. The farm is about 45km to 50km from Bolga, so in case I’m on my way and there is rain, I stop and put it on.
My lady, I was standing right inside my farm when I received a call from Bolga, precisely from my siblings and they said they were looking for my father’s health insurance card.
So I asked for what, but they didn’t want to tell me. I replied and said you people are in Bolga with the old man looking through his bag, you can find his health insurance card.
I asked what was wrong with the old man. What they told me was that he was at Regional Hospital, Bolga. Straight forward, I have to move from the farm to Bolga hospital.
My lady, when I got there, the old man had broken his hip and was in pain lying down by the wall. Since I have a room in my father’s house in Bolga, I went home straight because I had taken instructions from my senior brother that I was going to bring my father to Oyarifa for treatment on his hip.
My lady, from that very day, I have never touched that rain coat. I want to tell this honourable court that all that they are saying, there is no single truth in it. The rain coat has been there. We used the air force plane to convey our father from Tamale airport to Accra.
From that day, until the day I was arrested, I never touched that rain coat. …From all that they are saying is never true, I didn’t do anything.
Q. I’m further putting it to you that because of the splashed acid on this track suit (Exhibit P) you hid it under a pile of clothes to avoid detection?
A. This is not true. That very room, which belongs to me but prior to me coming to Bolga, I was living in Sandema, I had nothing in that room. My lady, all that I have in the room was the water that myself and my father drink, detergent I used to clean (soap, detox, etc) and money, and I share my father’s room with him. I don’t sleep in my room.
It was virtually used as a store room for my dad and I. There were no piles of clothes in that room. All my belongings were in Sadame…
Q. Your brother and …
A. I cannot speak into details about this. All I know my brother has no quarrels with anybody. I was in the house at usual taking care of my sick father when I had a phone call and I was told the deceased organised his boys to go and attack Kwabena Agyapong and my brother (Paul Afoko).
The one who called me is called Strongman, he is part of Adams’ boys. It was strongman who gave me this man’s number (A2) and that he is the only one who can talk to the deceased and stop what he was doing.
Apart from that my brother is a peaceful man, he doesn’t quarrel with the deceased and I personally had no quarrels with the deceased.
Q. I’m putting it to you that your brother and the deceased had a political difference, which you were well aware of?
A. That cannot be true. We are all in the same party struggling to take power from our opponents. I’m not aware of any quarrels between my brother and anybody. My brother is peaceful and a gentleman.
Q. I’m further putting it to you that because of this you dislike the deceased Adams Mahama…?
A. This cannot be true
Q. You even went to the extent of telling PW6 Robert Atule that you had to stop the deceased?
A. That’s not true.
Q. You further told told PW6 that you will show the deceased?
A. It is not true
Q. I’m putting it to you that you were so angry with the deceased treatment of your brother and Kwabena Agyapong and you decided to end the life of the deceased by pouring acid on him?
A. My lady, to begin with, it’s never true and it can never be true. I cannot kill a human being. I cannot make life. How can I go hurting my neighbour. My lady, my whole family has been in politics not today.
Politics is about numbers. We in the NPP needed power and we needed more support not to reduce our members. Because my votes is important, I left the States and came down only to come and exercise my franchise for my party. That’s in 2008 when we lost. I didn’t take it lightly.
I stayed home continued to canvass for votes till 2012 so all that they are saying in this case, my lord, it is not true and can never be true. All they are saying is not true.
Q. I’m further putting it to you that you did not like the deceased so much that even when the police informed you of his death you showed no sympathy at all?
A. My lady that cannot be true. It’s not true. My lady the deceased is my sister’s son and I understand we are related. As we speak, the deceased have his family house on my land at Sandema.
We are blood related. ….I have no hatred for anybody. From the beginning of this case and the end of it cannot be true. All that they are saying can never be true.
Q. In fact, you told the police that they should rather have arrested … because he was in possession of unlicensed pistol?
A. My lady that’s not true
Q. You further told the police that the deceased was a fool?
A. My lady, that’s not true. My lady, in all that they are saying are all lies. It’s not true, I have not planned with anybody to go and commit a crime. I have not committed a crime and I have told this humble court the whole truth.
Q. I’m putting it to you that you were angry with the deceased also because you knew very well that this youth group that you and A2 and others were forming was not going to be endorsed by the deceased, who was the regional chairman of the NPP?
A. That’s not true. The youth groups that are all over the country are all there to canvas for votes for wherever they live for the party to get more votes. The party is for all of us not for one person.
End for the day, case adjourned to January 24, 2023 for continuation.