Amnesty International has started looking into the concerns of abuse by family of the prime suspect in the murder of the former Upper East Regional New Patriotic Party(NPP) Chairman.
This follows a petition by relatives of Gregory Afoko over the abuse of his rights.
They say his continues ncarceration despite having been granted bail by the court is a clear violation of his rights.
The family is alleging among other things that the Bureau of National Investigations(BNI) in whose custody Gregory is, intends to kill him.
The Country Director of Amnesty International, Robert Akoto Amoafo tells Starr News that his group has started its probe to ascertain the authenticity of the claims made by the family of the murder suspect.
“Before we can mention whether it has merit or not as a human rights institution we would have to check the facts. We are currently arranging to do some fact checks to go to the field and check that all the claims that have been mentioned in the petition are as has happened. We know according to the law if once the Judge has given bail, once anybody meets the condition of bail and the state has no reason for keeping the person and the state still keeps the person then there’s a problem. We need to find out why and follow up and make sure that the state is doing as it has already agreed and has signed up to in international standards and also in our constitution.”
Read the full text of the statement below;
ABUSE OF GREGORY AFOKO’S HUMAN RIGHTS
This petition seeks to outline events leading to the arrest of Gregory Afoko for the alleged murder of Adams Mahama, the former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party(N.P.P.) the present ruling party in Ghana, the trial, the motive alleged by the prosecutor, the interference by the NPP in the trial through Lawyer Anamoo, the current Upper East Chairman of the NPP, the abuse of the legal process and bureaucracy to detain and deny Gregory Afoko of his basic human rights, the abuse of the police service towards Gregory Afoko and the total disregard of the Judicial decisions. How all this is done simply to settle political scores within the in-fighting of the NPP using an innocent Proxy – Gregory Afoko.
At dawn of May 21, 2015, Gregory Afoko was arrested at his house while in bed in the same bedroom of his bedridden ailing father (whom he was taking care of). During the time of his arrest, the house was searched, clothing seized and his personal bedroom sealed by the police officers (names can be provided if needed), two other suspects were named. Gregory was sent to Tamale police station and his statement was taken (He did not write it). He was not allowed to correct the written statement. From there he was transferred to Accra and charged with the murder of Adams Mahama. One of these suspects fled and the other who allegedly bought the acid which was the substance poured on Adams was let go by the police because they had no such evidence.
Gregory was eventually sent to Nsawam Medium Security prison while awaiting trial. During this time Gregory suffered various ailments and had to undergo surgery. This was only possible through judicial intervention. Due to delays by the prosecution and other reasons, he has been in detention for over four years. During this time while the trial was ongoing his attorney applied for bail, but was denied by the trial judge.
After four years of detention and trial, several witnesses examined and crossed examined, after several pieces of evidence presented to a jury, after both the prosecution and defence resting their cases, the Attorney General filed a nolle prosequoi to discontinue the trial before the judge could direct the jury to deliberate. Without direct knowledge of the Judge, without following the procedures for releasing detainees, the police went to Nsawam prisons and forcibly removed Gregory from the custody of the prison (who incidentally also didn’t have the proper documentation to release Gregory but were ordered to do so verbally) in his boxer shorts at night and sent to the cells of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI).
Even though the Police and the prosecutors knew Gregory had attorneys on file representing him, they arraigned him before a different court and charged with the same offenses. The only difference was the addition of the fugitive suspect.
Incidentally, the allegations the prosecutors presented during the aborted trial was that suspects Gregory Afoko and the fugitive, stopped the deceased around 11pm at the Bolga-SSNIT flats (no one was witness to this and there was no testimony that Adams told anyone this) and had acid poured on him. The deceased then drove his car to his house screaming and strangely enough the wife came out with gloves to pull him out of his vehicle. None of the immediate neighbours heard the commotion. The deceased wife’s neighbours some houses away came to help her take her husband to the hospital, while she went back into the house to prepare herself to follow up.
Whilst in the car, it was only the deceased who was praying. Only the deceased wife and her neighbours who came over to the house ever heard the deceased mention the names of the accused, this supposedly was whispered to them in the emergency room without any other witnesses but by these two.
Subsequently, the container which contained the acid was identified by the wife and presented to the police, even though the alleged attack took place somewhere else without witnesses.