An Accra High Court has rescinded its earlier decision to grant bail to a murder suspect, Gregory Afoko who had been unlawfully held in police custody for 120 days.
The decision was taken by a different judge at the Accra High Court, Justice Merley Wood, thus overturning the decision made by another High Court judge, Justice George Buadi.
Justice Buadi on March 14 granted bail to Mr Afoko who is standing trial for murder of the New Patriotic Party Upper East Regional chairman, Adams Mahama in 2015. But that order was disregarded by the state for four months, even though he met all bail conditions.
Within the period of his “unlawful detention”, the state, through the Attorney General’s office made two attempts to have the bail decision reversed at the High court, and later at the Appeal’s court, but both failed. Though the bail was upheld, Mr. Afoko was still held in detention.
The detention called into question the government’s respect for the law and its human rights record.
Many including NDC communications team member, lawyer Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, have criticised the president and his administration for what they described as a breach of human rights.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), and Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) were subsequently hauled before the High Court to face contempt charges for disobeying lawful order.
But in a dramatic turn of events, the state filed an application at a High Court presided over by Justice Merley Wood. The Chief State Attorney, Marina Appiah Opare told the court, 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 led by Sowah Charway who described the application by the state as amounting to ambush litigation aimed at frustrating a man who is “helpless and powerless”.
He reminded the court that another High Court judge had assessed the facts of the matter and ruled that Mr. Afoko should be granted bail.
He said despite the ruling, the state has 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 this bail issue, including 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.
But Justice Merley Wood in her ruling said based on the facts presented to her the bail is rescinded. She adjourned the case to Wednesday July 17 for trial to commence.
Here are some key highlights of the case: