Gregory Afoko Trial: I can’t sleep under this regime – Lawyer

A private legal practitioner, Justice Abdulai, has said it is unfortunate that the police have refused to execute the bail granted murder suspect Gregory Afoko, and continue to unlawfully hold him in detention, until a High Court last week rescinded the bail. 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, despite meeting all the bail conditions. The new decision of the court last week followed an application by the Attorney General represented in court by Chief State Attorney, Marina Appiah Opare. 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.

This development, Lawyer Abdulai contends, is a travesty of justice and a clear case of human rights abuse which must be condemned without fear nor favour, noting that same injustices could be meted out to anyone on any day. He explained that the manner in which Afoko is being treated by the state in his trial puts every Ghanaian to a risk. “I cannot sleep under this kind of regime because tomorrow it could be me, it could be my brother, my father or any one from my family and if this political crime cannot find justice, imagine you,” he said on TV3’s The Key Points Saturday, July 20. The lawyer fears that the frequency of such cases of fundamental human rights abuses, whether by the public or state institutions, may engineer a certain sense of insecurity. He observed that it is strange that Mr. Afoko, who is standing trial for murder, is rather the one enjoying public sympathy when he should have ordinarily been condemned. He noted that the turn of events is as a result of the abuse of the  human rights by the state. According to him, these are trying times for the country especially for the government which campaigned heavily on the rule of law. “These are dark days for the rights of individuals in this country…[and] for a government that has touted itself as the protector of the rights of private individuals.” Police compromised? Meanwhile, lawyer Abdulai is also advocating for the withdrawal of all police officers without legal background from the justice delivery system. He argues that the police are not part of the judicial system as such the use of police, sometimes as prosecutors in court, undermines justice delivery. Human rights lawyer Francis Xavier Sasu did not mince words in condemning the conduct of the police in the case, alleging they were compromised. According to him, the recent developments in the judicial system is an affront on the rule of law and “turns the constitution upside down”. By P.D Wedam||Ghana ]]>