Andrew Vortia, Counsel for Asabka Alange, second accused (A2) in the murder trial of the late Upper Eastern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Adams Mahama, has informed the court of some issues that the police failed to act on to help the case.
As a result, he said, the prosecution also could not nail the accused persons on the charges – murder and conspiracy to commit murder – preferred against them.
He told the court, presided over by Justice Afua Merley Wood, and the empanelled jury, while giving his address yesterday, that the police was to be blamed for inability of the prosecution to nail the accused persons on the charges.
Explaining to the court and the jury, he started by drawing their attention to the testimonies of Toffic, first prosecution witness (PW1), and Hajia Zinabu, wife of the deceased (PW8), adding that it was only these two persons who claimed that the late Adams Mahama mentioned the names of the accused persons as his assailants.
He referred to them as the ones who spread that information.
Taking the court down memory lane of the three years trial, he said Toffic alleged that he had a call from Hajia Zinabu that something had been poured on the deceased and no name was mentioned in that conversation per their testimonies before the court. He said initially Hajia Zinabu was not specific on any name.
He asked: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the question that we must all ask ourselves is that at what time did this story of the accused persons being responsible for the pouring of the acid emerge?”
Focusing on Hajia Zinabu, he said the witness told the court that her husband came home at about 11:00pm, and when she approached his vehicle, she heard him screaming for help, and the first question she asked him was “who did this to you and why are you shouting?”
Meanwhile, the court had been told that it was dark, due to the lights being out, except the deceased’s vehicle headlights that were on.
The counsel wondered how Hajia Zinabu could ask such a question when in the first place she had not opened the door of the deceased vehicle to ascertain what was at hand.
Additionally, he said, Hajia Zinabu told the court that it was upon enquiries that the deceased told her that it was some boys who poured the acid on him, without mentioning their names.
However, he said, Hajia Zinabu testified to the court that the deceased mentioned the names of the accused on his dying bed, whereas she could state for a fact that the health staff attending to him heard it.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, granted without admitting that it was A1 and A2 who poured the acid, what prevented PW8 from telling Quinn, Zurera, Mariama, and Thomas Addo Zintah who came to the scene of the crime.”
He added that neither did Toffic also communicate that information to Quinn, Maraima and Thomas who were also present at the hospital.
Additionally, he said, it took about one hour for Toffic and Hajia Zinabu to arrive at the hospital at the same time, which the police failed to tell the court why.
Secondly, Mr. Vortia indicated that there was no witness from the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, explaining that the doctors and nurses were like investigators and always kept the medical history of patients in a folder. However, there was no such evidence before the court.
Again, he wondered why the police did not take an interest in information communicated to them that on the night of the incident, the late Adams allegedly slapped some of his party activists.
Similarly, the counsel told the court that the deceased had an issue with a Burkinabe businessman, as well as his brother, who nearly allegedly knocked him down with a vehicle.
He also told the court that two people who sent the deceased – a Muslim and a Christian – to the hospital gave different accounts of what transpired in the vehicle.
According to him, the Christian, who claimed he did not speak Arabic, heard the deceased reciting Arabic prayers and mentioning the accused persons’ names, while the Muslim said he did not hear that.
On the testimony of the investigator in the case, Augustine Nkrumah (PW16), he questioned why he spent just three days to investigate such a critical matter.
He questioned why the investigator could not establish the fingerprints on two exhibits – a cup and gallon – that were allegedly used to pour the acid on the deceased.
Meanwhile, Afoko had told the court that he was informed by some of the investigators that forensic investigation of the fingerprints did not match his.
Similarly, he stated that the prosecution could not establish between the accused persons who poured the acid on the deceased.
The court was also told that Asabka was compelled to take to fleeing when the incident happened, because he was threatened by Toffic that he would be killed, his child was kidnapped and his drinking spot set ablaze.
The case is adjourned to Monday April 4, 2023.