Ghana: Coup Plotters Case - State Investigating Case

5 December 2019

The state is still continuing investigating the case in which Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Agordzor and nine others have been charged with treason and abetment of crime, the prosecutor has told the Kaneshie District Court yesterday.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare, the prosecutor, said the bill of indictment (BI) would be filed in court as soon as investigations into the matter are completed.

Consequently, the case had been adjourned to December 19 at 1pm.

Samuel Kojo Gameli, a senior military officer, Gershon Akpa, civilian employee at the Ghana Armed Forces, Warrant Officer II (WOII) Esther Doku, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akapewu and Corporal Seidu Abubakar had been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and treason, while ACP Agordzor was charged with abetment of crime.

They were charged together with Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, the Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Hospital, at Alajo, Accra, and Donyo Kafui, a local weapon manufacturer.

Few weeks ago, the substitution of the charge sheet stirred controversy as the defence team urged the court not to allow prosecution to file another charge sheet.

Mr Martin Kpebu, counsel for ACP Agordzor, asked the court to allow his client to go home so that the case starts afresh.

When Mrs Elleanor Kakra Bans, the presiding magistrate asked him to state the law which bars prosecution from substituting a charge, Mr Kpebu could not state the exact provision, but referred to an instance in which a magistrate at the Osu District Court stopped National Security personnel from arresting an accused who was discharged.

ASP Asare argued that withdrawal of the charge sheet does not exclude substitution of a charge sheet.

He said to discharge an accused in a criminal matter is not acquittal, adding that it is not stated anywhere "in our jurisprudence that discharge constitutes acquittal and the case starts afresh".

ASP Asare said the provision Mr Kpebu sought to rely on does not suggest anywhere expressly or by application that prosecution cannot substitute a charge sheet.

"In fact, the provision buttresses our conduct to the effect that we can even withdraw a count. All that we seek to do is to substitute and consolidate the charge sheet."

Eight of the accused including ACP Agordzor were already denied bail by an Accra High Court presided by Justice Buadi.

At the high court, Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu, counsel for the accused, told the court that treason is a bailable offence, but ruling on the bail application, Justice Buadi stated that accused were not unreasonably detained.

He said some of the accused, who were senior and junior military personnel, could interfere with investigation.

The facts according to the prosecution are that Dr Mac-Palm and his colleagues belonged to an association called Take Action Ghana (TAG) and had planned to stage demonstrations, ostensibly to topple the government.

ASP Asare said in July this year, accused contacted a blacksmith from Alavanyo, in the Volta Region, to manufacture 22 explosives, six ammunitions and five pistols.

The court heard that the manufacturer charged alleged accomplices GH¢2,300 as the cost of each pistol and GH¢400.00 for each explosive.

He said on September 19, Dr Mac-Palm and Kafui were arrested after test firing at Teshie Military shooting range.

The court heard that a search conducted in the premises of the Citadel Hospital revealed six unregistered pistols, one registered pistol, 22 explosives, three grenades, 63 rounds of ammunition, two empty AK47 magazines and other machines used in manufacturing weapons.

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