Yesterday, nearly 4 years after his murder, the late Chairman Adams Mahama, Gregory Afoko and their respective families were denied justice–again. The state, with Afoko’s trial done and the jury ready to deliberate, has filed a “nolle prosequi”, which is a decline of interest in the case. In most other places, this would be good news for the accused. It would mean, in most cases, that the prosecution has conceded that it either has the wrong man or a weak case. In this case, however, the state did this because it has arrested the second suspect in the case, Asabke, who has been a fugitive since he was named a suspect. I am not in a position to pronounce guilt or innocence but this latest turn in this saga should outrage everyone who cares about justice. Today, my heart goes out to both the deceased, the accused and their families. This murder and this long trial have taken a toll on the families– in resources, physical and mental health! The O.J. Simpson trial of the century took just eleven months to complete and yet this trial has taken 4 long years and is yet to be completed. Why is it Afoko’s fault that Asabke absconded?
Was there a rush to judgement?
Was Afoko guilty even before any investigation started?
Might someone else who had more to do with this murder be walking free?
Today, this case mocks our motto, “Freedom and Justice “! This does not look like justice. We should all be worried about what is happening to poor Gregory. Someday, the precedents being set here might be used against any of us.
As MLK said, “In the end, we will remember, not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends”. Let the friends, not of the Afokos or the Mahamas but of JUSTICE speak!! Their silence is deafening! Today, while charlatans and murderers get on with it, our authorities are more likely to find, not the guilty but the innocent and after unacceptable delays.
This is not the clear justice of Antoa and Tigare and Akonnedi that rolled down, swift and certain, through Volta and Oti and Ankobra rivers. And it is not the justice Nkrumah and Danquah, who both knew unfair justice and wrongful imprisonment, dreamed of.
Let there be true freedom and justice for the Mahamas and the Afokos of Ghana!
Arthur Kobina Kennedy (29th January, 2019)