- The latest development in the ongoing trial of Gregory Afoko has been described by some people as a mockery of Ghana’s legal system
- According to a Constitutional Lawyer, the decision by Justice Merley Afua Wood is a very serious error of judgment
- The State argued that should the accused person’s bail be allowed to hold, he is likely not to make himself available for the trial
It is fair to say the most trending topic in Ghana in the last couple of days has been the reversal of the bail granted to Gregory Afoko.
Afoko is currently facing trial as one of the suspects in the murder of former Upper East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Adams Mahama.
In March, an Accra High Court granted the suspect bail to the tune of GHc500,000.
His bail was granted with two sureties, one of which was that he must report himself to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service every two weeks.
However, the state constantly refused to grant the bail, keeping the suspect in custody for four months, against the court’s order.
In that period, the state petitioned the High Court to reverse the bail granted to Afoko, but the decision was upheld.
The Attorney-General filed another appeal at the Court of Appeal to overturn the bail, but a pronouncement on the case is yet to be made.
However, on Monday, July 15 controversy was sparked after a judge at the Accra High Court, Merley Afua Wood rescinded Afoko’s bail.
This came after the State made an oral application at the court, arguing that the suspect is likely not to make himself available for the trial when granted bail.
However, the problem with this is that, it is not supposed to be possible for a High Court to overturn a decision made by another High Court.
Ideally, the decision to overturn Afoko’s bail should have been left to an Appeals Court to handle. That should have been the right way to go.
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On the other hand, the State did not conduct itself well by denying the suspect bail when they court had ordered it.
To keep a suspect in custody for four months when he has been granted bail constitutes an abuse of his rights.
Meanwhile, after rescinding Afoko’s bail, Justice Merley Wood adjourned the case to Wednesday, July 17, 2019 for the trial to commence.
The issue has led to loads of public outcry, with some condemning the decision by the judiciary.
For example, a US-based Ghanaian scholar, Prof. Stephen Kwaku Asare has described Justice Merley Afua Wood a judge at the Accra High Court, as very incompetent for overturning an earlier decision made by another High Court judge George Buadi to grant Gregory Afoko bail.
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