BY MUNTALLA INUSAH | firstname.lastname@example.org
GREGORY AFOKO, the main man who is at the centre of the acid incident which led to the death of the Mr Adams Mahama, once the Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), is expected to open his defence today.
This follows the closure of the prosecution’s case and the subsequent cross-examination of the 14th Prosecution Witness by the defence team.
At the last adjourned date, Detective Chief Inspector Augustines Nkrumah was cross-examined by the defence counsel led by Osafo Buabeng after which prosecution closed its case.
“I will like to inform the court that this is the end of the case of the prosecution,” the Prosecution, led by Chief State Attorney, Matthew Amponsah, told the court.
“The prosecution, having closed their case, case is adjourned to November 19 and 20, 2018 for the accused to open his defence,” Justice Lawrence Lazzaglah Mensah, a Court of Appeal judge, who is sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, ordered.
14 witnesses in all
Earlier, the wife of the late NPP chairman, Hajia Zenabu Adams, Quinn Asigri, Tawfik Murtala, Zuweira Issaka, detective Sergeant Benjamin Kusi, formerly of the Bolgatanga Regional CID, among others, gave their evidence.
Mr Afoko, who is facing the charge of murder, has denied any wrongdoing by entering a not guilty plea, before the court which also comprises a seven-member jury.
He was alleged to have poured acid on the NPP chairman, which led to his demise on May 20, 2015.
What happened on final day
In all, 14 prosecution witnesses were called, including the wife of the deceased.
Below were the excerpts of the further cross-examination of the last prosecution witness, Chief Inspector Augustus Nkrumah, by Kwaku Osafo Buabeng, counsel for the accused, when he appeared before the court.
Q: Can you kindly look at exhibit A? It shows that the right side of the driver’s seat was damaged; is that not so?
Q: PW9 did not snap a picture of the full or the whole driver’s seat; is that not so?
Q: Do I take it that this is because it was the right side of the driver’s seat that was damaged?
A: That is not so.
Q: This was because the head rest was not damaged.
A: That one I cannot tell
Q: PW9 took a picture of the passenger seat as well with exhibit O lying on it?
Q: Would you agree with me that PW9, in taking the picture, was interested in taking the pictures, was interested in only the places in the vehicle which had come into contact with the liquid substance?
A: That is not so, because there were other places that the liquid substance had touched that were not taken
Q: You did not take pictures of the back seat, is that not so?
A: That is so.
Q: I am suggesting to you that the head rest of both the driver’s seat and the passenger seat did not have any splash of the liquid substance. That is why PW9 did not take any picture of it?
A: That one I did not observe.
Q: Did you take your time to examine the whole interior of the vehicle at the alleged crime scene?
A: I did.
Q: Did you examine the mats on the floor of the back seat?
A: I saw them.
Q: They were not damaged, is that not so?
A: That one I did not observe any liquid substance on them.
Q: You told the court that the vehicle is of what make?
A: It is a Toyota Hilux pick-up.
Q: It is a single cabin pick up?
A: That is not so.
Q: You did not take a picture of the vehicle as a whole?
A: We did not take that picture.
Q: I am putting it to you that exhibit A, A1 and A2 do not emanate from the vehicle of the deceased.
A: They are pictures of the vehicle of the deceased.
Q: You have also tendered in evidence Exhibits D and D1. These exhibits, could you tell us which side of the body, whether it is the right side or the left side of the person?
A: It is the right side.
Q: Did PW1 demonstrate to you how she pulled the deceased from the vehicle?
A: She did not, but she told us how she did it. There was no demonstration.
Q: How did she do it?
A: She told us that she held the husband and assisted him out of the vehicle.
Q: Did you inspect the fingers of PW1?
Q: The fingers are not captured in Exhibit D series?
Q: I am putting it to you that PW1 did not pull out the deceased from the vehicle?
A: She told us she did.
Q: Apart from what PW1 told you about pulling her husband from the vehicle, did you interrogate any other person about how the deceased left the vehicle?
A: We did not do, because the other witnesses that were interrogated stated that they came there after the deceased was out of the vehicle.
Q: Exhibits B, C and C2 depict burns to the head, including the face of the deceased, is that not so?
A: Yes, some part of the face and the upper part of the body.
Q: In fact, when you look at exhibits C2 in particular, you will see at the back of the head that the deceased suffered burns.
A: I am seeing that at the back of the neck, the skin there has been peeled off.
Q: I am suggesting to you that the head rest of the driver’s seat in the vehicle from Exhibit C2 would have been affected by the substance.
A: I have already informed the court that I did not observe [that].
Q: I am putting it to you that the substance was poured on the deceased outside the vehicle in his house.
A: That is not so.
Q: Would you agree with me that when fingers of a human being come in to contact with sulphuric acid, it will cause burns to the fingers?
A: To the layman’s point of view, that is so.
Q: And this explains why L/Cpl Ofori put on gloves for protection before handling the exhibits?
A: That is so.
Q: I am putting it to you that the fingers of PW1 were not burnt when you visited her?
A: I have told this court that I did not observe [that].
Q: I am further putting it to you that the deceased never mentioned the name of the accused and Asebke as being responsible for pouring the substance?
A: He did.
Q: Were you present?
A: I was not present.
Q: Did you arrest Musah as well when you started your investigations in to this matter?
A: Yes, he was picked by the Bolgatanga police and handed over to us.
Q: Why did the Bolgatanga police pick Musah?
A: According to them, they had information that Musah went about looking for acid to purchase, and because of that he was picked, and after investigations that information turned out to be false.
Defence Counsel: That is all, the PW14.
Court: Any re-examination from the Prosecution?
Q: You told the court yesterday under the cross-examination that when you went to the house of the deceased at the scene of the crime on 21/5/15, when you were taking photographs of PW1 covering her wounds from the acid burns, she told you that she would not allow her face to show because of her religion, and the fact that she was married; is that so?
Q: What is her religion?
A: She’s a Muslim.
Q: Court: Foreman, any question from the jury?
Foreman: The jury will like to know whether you investigated the whereabouts of Abukari, the driver of the deceased?
A: No, we did not investigate the whereabouts of Abukari. The Bolgatanga police knew his whereabouts.
Q: The jury will like to know what the Bolgatanga police told you about their whereabouts?
A: They did not.