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Afoko’s rights ‘clearly’ violated - GBA President

General News of Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Anthony Forson JnrNEW Anthony Forson, President of Ghana Bar Association

President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Anthony Forson, has added his voice the many condemning the confinement of Gregory Afoko, after a court granted him bail in March.

Mr Forson has, therefore, urged the legal team of Mr Afoko, who is a key suspect in a murder case, to pursue those who set aside the bail granted him by the High Court.

“An Injustice has been done to him and his lawyers must know what to do,” he said Wednesday on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.

He said although the Afoko case was unfortunate, it should be viewed as one of the setbacks in Ghana’s criminal jurisprudence.

He said the denial of Mr Afoko the right to enjoy the freedom granted him by the bail condition, should not be about Mr Afoko but rather as a system that frustrates the rule of law.

Bail directive

Gregory Afoko is a key suspect in the murder of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Upper East Region Chairman, Adams Mahama, in 2015. Mr Mahama was attacked in front of his home in Bolgatanga with acid leading to his death.

Although Mr Afoko was granted bail by a High Court in March this year and fulfilled his bail conditions, he was still held in police custody.

But on July 15, 2019, the Afoko trial took a dramatic turn. Another High Court committed him into police custody. The move has been described as overturning of the bail condition granted him earlier. The sudden turn of events has been described as unprecedented and a likely breach of legal procedure.

Some legal commentators believe a High Court holds no such power to rescind the decision of another High Court but a superior court – that is the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court.

However, providing insights into the matter, Mr Forson said his understanding is that fresh charges were presented to the court and it was based on those new charges that Mr Afoko was denied bail.

“He was granted bail, his family people satisfied the conditions of bail, however, the state actors did not let him enjoy his freedom. That is clearly wrong. That is clearly wrong and unconstitutional,” he told Super Morning Show host, Daniel Dadzie.

He added: “The bit about the fresh charges which were put before the court and arguments for bail is a separate issue. I do not believe for a moment that at the time that Mr Afoko was put before the court in the first matter, the court was called upon to consider the existing bail. “

“I don’t think that the judge would have even had the jurisdiction to do that. Because my information is that fresh charges were brought and a fresh matter was put before the court. So once we separate the two, we’ll see where the infraction was. The judge exercised her discretion not to grant bail in the fresh matter.”

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