It was a battle of wit in Court on Tuesday November 21 as State Prosecutors and defence lawyers clash over the retrial of convicted Asabke Alangde.

While State Prosecutors have asked for the retrial of both Gregory Afoko and Asabke, it was the case of the defence lawyers that, it would be a waste of state resources.

On April 27, this year, the jury returned 4-3 verdict for Gregory Afoko on conspiracy and murder over the alleged acid incident which led to the death of New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Upper East Regional Chairman, Adams Mahama.

Following the hung jury, the Court then ordered for Afoko’s retrial without any clear order on Asabke who was convicted and sentenced to death for conspiracy.

Asabke though had a 4-3 verdict in his favour for murder, was unanimously found guilty for conspiracy and had since been sentenced to death.

In Court on Tuesday, November 21, Prosecution led by Mrs Marina Appiah-Opare, a Chief State Attorney argued that the prosecution is relying on the Bill of Indictment filed in 2018 against both accused persons which had count 1 as conspiracy to commit murder.

She said, with the second accused being convicted of the said offence and is on the death row, he is not to be retried on the charge of conspiracy but the first accused alone.

On the charge of murder, the Mrs Appiah-Opare told the Court that both accused persons are to be retried on murder.

But, Defence lawyers particularly, Stephen Sowah Charway, counsel for the first accused challenged the decision of the prosecution to retrial the second accused in the count of murder without an order of the court for retrial.

It was Counsel’s argument that, the Court previously constituted did not order for the retrial of the second accused (convict).

The prosecution then submited that the previous trial court inadvertently omitted to order retrial of the second accused on the charge of murder.

Mrs Appiah-Opare submits that it is not fatal and refers to section 406 of Act. 30

Justice Marie-Louise Simmons, who is presiding over the Criminal Division of the Accra High Court, suspended the plea taking of the accused persons.

The Court said, it was adjourning to the case to decide on whether both accused can be tried on the charges of murder by the next court date.

Justice Simmons, subsequently, directed the Registrar of the Court to assemble prospective jurors to be available in that day for empanelling at the next court sitting.

According to EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, both Afoko and Asabke were present in court whilst the case has been adjourned to December 5, 2023.

Alhaji Mahama suffered severe bodily injuries after a substance suspected to be acid was allegedly poured on him in front of his house in Bolgatanga on May 20, 2015.

He later died from the injuries at the Bolgatanga General Hospital.


The decision of the jury on April 27 led to a Hung Jury, with the then trial judge, Justice Afua Merley Wood who was sitting as a Court of Appeal judge with an additional responsibility as a High Court judge – now retired, ordering for a retrial.

Since April 27, 2023, Afoko had had two applications for bail refused – one at the Criminal Court 2 in June and the other at the Human Rights Division in October 9.

The first trial of Afoko started in 2016 and was nearing completion after the prosecution and the defence had closed their cases.

But, the proceedings of Justice L. L. Mensah following the arrest of the second accused person, was terminated on January 28, 2019

On July 17, 2019, the second trial begun before Justice Merley Afua Wood who has since retired as Justice of the Court of Appeal.

Following the Hung Jury, the case has been assigned to Justice Marie-Louise Simmons for fresh start.

Brief facts

The brief facts of the case, were that on May 14, 2015, Gregory’s brother, Paul Afoko, and Kwabena Agyepong, then national chairman and general secretary, respectively, of the NPP arrived in Bolgatanga for a meeting.

It stated that, the deceased, organised some thugs to violently attack the two, scuttling the planned meeting at the Azumsolon Guest House, for campaigning against the flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and also not notifying him of the meeting.

The situation, according to the prosecution, was later brought under control by the police, adding that the accused, who was then upset, confronted Mahama but was chased out by thugs.

Another group

It also noted that Gregory and Asabke formed another youth group in their bid to protect persons perceived to be against Nana Akufo-Addo.

It said the accused persons held a series of meetings with the youth and on May 20, 2015
they laid ambush at Mahama’s residence with a substance suspected to be acid.

‘The deceased returned home around 11:10
p.m. in his pick-up vehicle, with registration number NR 761 – 14, and immediately he parked the vehicle in front of his house, the suspects went close and signalled him to roll down the glass.

The deceased identified the suspects to be party members and rolled down the glass to talk to them.

Suddenly, the suspects poured the substance suspected to be acid on his head, face and other parts of his body and fled on a motorbike.

‘The deceased started screaming for help and his wife, Hajia Zenabu Adams, went to his aid and managed to bring him out of the vehicle, the prosecution added.


According to the prosecution, Mahama’s wife also sustained burns on the right side of her chest and breast while assisting her husband.

It said when she enquired about what had happened to her husband, he told her Gregory and Asabke had attacked him.

Mahama died while being airlifted to Accra for treatment.

Gregory, who was later picked up, led the police to Asabke’s father’s house.

The police later located Asabke’s house but he had then absconded with his wife, abandoning their baby in the process.

A post-mortem report on Mahama said he died of shocked lungs and extensive acid burns.

Source: Ghana/ Inusah