A High Court in Accra has set December 5, 2023, to take the plea of Gregory Afoko, who is accused of murdering the late Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Adams Mahama, by pouring acid on him.
On that day, the court will also decide whether to retry Asabke Alangdi on the charge of murder, as the court, which previously convicted and sentenced him to death for conspiracy to commit murder, did not make such an order.
The prosecution, led by Marina Appiah Opare, a Chief State Attorney at the Office of the Attorney General, is pushing for the court to retry Asabke for murder, indicating that the previous court inadvertently omitted the order for him to be retried on the charge of murder.
They submit that the omission by the previous trial court is not fatal and refer to Section 406 of Act 30.
The defense, on the other hand, is against the accused being retried on the substantive charge of murder since the court that convicted him of conspiracy did not order a retrial.
The ‘Criminal Court 2’, presided over by Justice Marie Louise Simmons, as a result suspended the taking of the pleas of the accused persons to decide whether both accused can be tried on the charge of murder.
She, therefore, adjourned the case to December 5, 2023, for her decision as well as the appointment of a seven-member jury for the trial.
This is the third time Afoko is facing trial for the offense of allegedly killing Adams Mahama in May 2015.
The first trial was truncated by the Office of the Attorney General following the arrest of Afoko’s alleged accomplice, Asabke Alangdi, who fled the country after the incident.
The second trial ended on April 27 this year, with a seven-member jury presenting a verdict that shocked many.
The jury, by a 4:3 decision, found Gregory Afoko not guilty of conspiring to murder the late Mr. Mahama but unanimously found his co-accused, Asabke Alangdi, guilty of the same offense.
The jury, however, by a 4:3 decision found the two accused persons not guilty of the substantive charge of murder, thereby resulting in a hung jury and a retrial by a different jury.
While Afoko is to be retried as a result of a hung jury, Asabke Alangdi was sentenced to death by hanging after he was convicted by the court based on the jury’s guilty verdict on the charge of conspiracy to commit murder.