PrimeNewsGhana

Afoko's bail : Police disobeying a court order is not allowed - Kofi Abotsi

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Kofi Abotsi
Kofi Abotsi

Former Dean of the GIMPA Law School, Kofi Abotsi says it is not allowed for the Ghana Police Service or any other entity to disobey an order from a court.

Commenting on the decision of the Police to still keep in custody Gregory Afoko, the alleged murderer of Former Upper East NPP regional chairman Adams Mahama, after he was granted bail by the Accra High Court on March 14, 2019, lawyer Kofi Botsi said the decision of the police is not allowed.

Kofi Abotsi explained on Joy FM that after a court-ordered for bail to be granted a person and the court registrar has signed for the bail to be carried out the police has no locus in trying to verify the sureties of the bail again before releasing the accused person.

He added that a court decision can be disagreed with but not disobeyed.

"Disagreeing with a court order is allowed but disobedience to a court order is not allowed."

Addressing some concerns in police prosecution, lawyer Abotsi noted that one of the key challenges is the fact that the same police is acting as a prosecutor which sometimes brings about issues of conflict.

"There are fundamental issues with the police involving themselves in this. The police themselves are prosecutors."


Background

A newly constituted Accra High Court rescinded the bail granted to Gregory Afoko.

On March 14, 2019, another Accra High Court, presided over by Justice George Buadi, admitted Gregory Afoko to bail in the sum of GhȻ500,000 with two sureties, one of whom must be justified.

That was after his lawyers had argued that their client deserved to be granted bail because the state was not ready to prosecute him.

The lawyers based their argument on a nolle prosequi filed by the Attorney-General on January 28, 2019 to discontinue Afoko’s trial after more than three years of trial.

The A-G filed the nolle prosequi after the arrest of Asabke Alangdi, the other person alleged to have conspired with Afoko to allegedly commit the murder.


However, at a hearing on last Monday, another High Court, presided over by Justice Merley Afua Wood, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge, rescinded the bail granted to Afoko.

Justice Wood’s court is the court where a fresh trial of Afoko and another Alangdi has commenced.

The court rescinded the bail after upholding the arguments by the prosecutor, Ms Marina Appiah Oppong, a Chief State State Attorney.

Ms Oppong argued that the circumstances under which Afoko was granted bail had changed.

According to her, the other High Court granted Afoko bail on the basis that the state was not certain as to when to start prosecutions.

It was her argument that the state has completed the committal proceedings and commenced trial quickly after the nolle prosequi was filed.

She further argued that looking at the nature of case and the expected punishment, there was the likelihood that Afoko would not appear before the court to stand trial if the bail was not rescinded.

Justice Wood agreed with the prosecutor, rescinded the bail and adjourned the case to July 17. Jurors are expected to be empanelled on that day.

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