Former President John Dramani Mahama, has questioned the judicial system’s handling of Gregory Afoko’s case.
According to him, the government’s posture on the case, undermines the rule of law.
Mr Afoko, is one of the suspects in the murder of the former NPP Upper East Regional Chairman, Adams Mahama.
He was granted bail in March 2019 by an Accra High Court, but that bail decision was rescinded by another High Court Judge.
Speaking to some NDC members, John Mahama, suggested that Ghana’s democracy was under threat.
Just recently in court, someone requested for a bail and it was granted by the court but government has rescinded that bail. Every country is governed by rules. If a government decides not to abide by rules then where lies our fate as a country?”
This young man was incarcerated for a long while before being arraigned. This could be any other person too so the clergy and traditional rulers must speak up for government to know its mistakes.”
Gregory Afoko and one other accused person Asabke Alangdi, have been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
The two men, have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the facts by the prosecution, the two men conspired and poured acid on Adams Mahama leading to his death.
The prosecution also added that their decision to do that was based on an action taken by the late former NPP Upper East chair to scuttle a meeting being held at the time by a former National Chairman of the NPP, Paul Afoko and KwabenaAgyepong meant to work against the campaign of then flagbearer of the party, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo.
On Monday, the court rescinded the bail granted Afoko some three months ago by another High Court.
The decision by the court to rescind the bail follows an application made by the Attorney General represented in court by Chief State Attorney, Marina Appiah Opare.
According to Madam Appiah Opare, Mr Afoko, will not show up for trial if the court did not rescind the bail granted him by a different High Court judge.
The ruling has been criticised by many, including civil society organisations.
Last week a group called “Right Alliance Ghana” in a statement called for the release of the Mr. Afoko.
According to them “one can readily count several acts of human rights violation and abuse under President Akufo-Addo’s watch, since he was sworn into office on January 7, 2017”.
They asked “is it not ironically puzzling how key state institutions mandated to protect and guarantee the safety, security, rights and freedoms of the people seem to be faltering under the leadership of the highly touted credentials of a human rights lawyer President?
The statement jointly signed by Alhaji Sani Mohammed and King Khorby, the Executive Secretary and the Director of Communications of Right Alliance-Ghana respectively, noted that “such abuses have taken place right from the presidency, through to the courts and constituency to the streets and ghettos and our President seems oblivious of them all. Now, the Police Service as an institution and the courts are leading the charge in these human rights abuses and violations”.
The statement added that “it is becoming more certain each day that we are now in a banana republic and the rule of law has soundly gone to sleep”, and questioned “….. why would a murder suspect who has been in police custody since 2015 still be kept by the police after a court of competent jurisdiction has ruled to grant him bail four clear months after the ruling?
Right Alliance-Ghana insisted that “the case of Gregory Afoko is a running sore on the face of our national claims to being a stable and exemplary democracy in the sub-region. His trial has stalled for a long time with the State Attorney even expressing disinterest in continuing the prosecution, particularly as another suspect has been apprehended. Now a bail application is filed by his lawyers and a High Court rules to grant him bail. The State Prosecutors appeal the ruling at another High Court and the Court of Appeal both of which are dismissed. Four months on, the Police are still holding him and it seems all human rights institutions and advocates are dazed into silence”.
Worse of all, the state files a fresh appeal in the same High Court that gives the initial ruling but this time with a different judge presiding and the court rescinds the earlier ruling granting the bail.This turn of events only leaves true believers in democracy and rule of law gaping in amazement. It is as if the government is conspiring with all state institutions to oppress and suppress Ghanaians”.
“We in the Right Alliance-Ghana feel really scandalised by this disgusting trend and add our voice to the call from genuine apostles of democracy for the immediate release of Gregory Afoko. We believe his continued detention is an affront to democracy and a travesty of justice. Our emphatic call therefore is Release Gregory Afoko Now!