Human Rights group, Amnesty International has described the latest development in the ongoing trial of Gregory Afoko as a mockery of the country’s legal system.
The group’s Executive Director in Ghana, Robert Akoto Amoafo says the failure of the country to ensure that suspects are handled properly, with recourse to the laws is an affront to human rights.
His comment follows the reversal of bail granted Gregory Afoko, one of the suspects being prosecuted over the murder of former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Adams Mahama, by an Accra High Court.
“This is a mockery of human rights and a mockery of the human rights system as a country. We are very concerned about that. Already, Ghana is recording low in ensuring that it protects people who are arrested and incarcerated. If you have a law in our log book that simply says that if a person is granted bail, the bail must be respected. In this case, the bail was not respected. The person was kept all the period when he was supposed to be on bail, and all of a sudden, the person’s bail was rescinded by another court. This is a mockery of our legal system and a worry for us as a human rights advocate”, Mr. said on Eyewitness News on Monday.
The court had earlier in March 2019 granted the suspect bail to the tune of GHc500,000 but the state ignored the court’s ruling and continued to hold the suspect in custody for about three months.
The new decision of the court follows an application made by the Attorney General represented in court by Chief State Attorney, Marina Appiah Opare on Monday.
According to madam Appiah Opare, Mr. Afoko will not show up for trial if the court does not rescind the bail granted him over three months ago by a different High Court judge.
The application was opposed by lawyers for Mr. Afoko who reminded the court that another High Court judge had assessed the facts of the matter and ruled that Mr. Afoko should be granted bail.
They also described the application by the State as amounting to ambush litigation aimed at frustrating a man who is “helpless and powerless.”
One of the lawyers, Steven Sowah Charway, said despite the earlier bail ruling, the State had not allowed Gregory Afoko to even enjoy a second of freedom.
He informed the court that there are a number of pending cases relating to the bail issue.
He said some of the cases related to a contempt ruling against the IGP and CID boss slated for July 22 and an appeal filed by the state at the Court of Appeal seeking to set aside the bail.
He said the State should have taken the case to the same judge who granted the bail earlier and not a new court.
But Justice Merley Wood said based on the facts presented to her, the bail is rescinded.
She adjourned the case to Wednesday, July 17, 2019 for the trial to commence.