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05 July 2017

Chief State Attorney Incurs Wrath Of Judge In Upper East NPP Chairman Murder Case | Politics

A Chief State Attorney, Mr Mathew Amponsah, who is prosecuting the case involving the alleged murder of Mr Adams Mahama, a former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), incurred the wrath of the Accra High Court when he sought to recall evidence given by one of the prosecution witnesses while leading another witness in evidence.

The approach did not sit well with Mr Justice Lawrence L. Mensah, a Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional High Court judge.

“The law does not allow the witness to contravene anyone’s evidence. If others allow this to happen, it won’t happen in this court,” he said.

He said once a witness had given evidence, that ended it; whatever was said could not be repeated to another witness.

Mr Justice Mensah said the move was not right and was unfair to the defence.

That unfolded when the third prosecution witness in the case in which Gregory Afoko is standing trial for murder, Mr Azigri Quinn, took the witness stand for the second time.

Hospital bed

Mr Quinn, who is Mr Adams’s neighbour and is said to have conveyed Adams to hospital after the acid attack on him, told the court that while on his hospital bed, Adams had told, someone whose name he gave only as Tofik and his (Mahama’s) wife, Hajia Zainabu Adams, that he knew he would die and that if he died, it was Afoko and Asabke Alandi who had “done this to him”.

According to Quinn, Adams said should he die, he should be buried in his village.

He said a few minutes later, Adams’s family members began to troop into the Emergency Ward of the hospital where he was on admission, adding that he (Quinn) had to leave around 1 a.m. because he had to travel to Sandema the following day.

He said when he left the hospital, Adams was still in pain and was becoming weaker and weaker, adding that he heard of Adams’s death at 9 a.m. the next day while he was in Sandema.

Asked whether he was in the hospital when the police arrived there, he answered in the negative.

Cross-examination

When counsel for the defence, Mr Yaw Sarfo Buabeng, took his turn to cross-examine Mr Quinn, he sought to discredit Mr Quinn’s evidence.

Mr Quinn told the court that Adams had given him a bunch of keys, but on getting close to the vehicle, he realised that the car’s engine was running and the ignition key was not among the bunch of keys.

Asked how many years he had been driving and whether he was conversant with ignition keys and how many keys were on the ring, the witness said he had been driving for 20 years and was familiar with those keys but the situation did not allow him to count the number of keys.

Mr Quinn told the court that he had met Adams wailing and touching all parts of his body and that a neighbour, Mr Thomas Zuta, who was also there, could not stand Adams’s agitation and, therefore, left the place.

Mr Buabeng also asked the witness if he had switched on the light of the vehicle, to which Mr Quinn said: “No, since it was already on when I came out of my house.”

When Mr Buabeng sought to suggest that the witness did not examine the inside of the vehicle, witness said he did and observed that the dashboard and the seats had melted, with only the metals of the driver’s seat remaining.

Asked how he could see when the light inside the vehicle was not on and the headlights could not illuminate the inside of the vehicle, witness said “the panel light was so bright you could see what was happening in the car”.

The case has been adjourned to today and Mr Buabeng is expected to continue with his cross-examination.

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