…Pulls Out Of Witness Box
Suspended General Secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwabena Agyepong, has pulled out as prosecution witness in a case involving suspended National Chairman ,Paul Awentami Afoko, and the party.
Mr. Agyepong was yesterday expected to mount the witness box, according to counsel for Mr. Afoko, but failed to appear as required.
Lawyers of Mr. Afoko ,told the court that the witness disclosed that he was no longer available for the purpose, forcing his statement to be struck out and the presentation of Mr. Afoko’s witnesses closed.
The NPP, will be calling their witnesses beginning from June 24.
Mr. Afoko is in court challenging his suspension by the party, indicating that processes leading to his suspension were not in line with laid down procedure of the party.
Meanwhile, the High Court judge, hearing the case, has said he was willing to step down if the NPP feels uncomfortable with him presiding over the matter.
“I am doing my possible best. If you are not happy with me, petition me and I will be glad to take my hands off this case,” Justice Anthony Yeboah told lawyers for the NPP on Wednesday during cross-examination of a witness for Mr. Afoko.
Lead counsel for the NPP, Godfred Dame, accused Afoko’s laywer of whispering to Afoko’s witness, Martin Kpebu, while he was under cross-examination in the witness box. That, Mr Dame argued, could interfere in the case, hence insisted the judge ruled on the lawyer’s action.
The NPP lawyer’s insistence apparently angered the Justice Yeboah, who said he never saw Afoko’s lawyer whisper to the witness as claimed by Mr Dame.
“l don’t remember seeing this man [Afoko’s lawyer] whispering to him [ the witness]. If you are not happy with me, l will be absolutely glad to take my hands off this case,” Justice Yeboah told Mr Dame. The case has been adjourned to June 16 for continuation.
Mr. Afoko in October 2015, filed a suit at the Human Rights Court challenging his suspension. He is seeking his reinstatement grounding his argument on claims that his suspension was procedurally wrong per the party’s Constitution.