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Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, ACP Dr. Benjamin Agordzo, WO II Esther Saan Dekuwine, Donya Kafui, Col. Samuel Kojo Gameli
The woes of ten persons standing trial for allegedly planning to destabilise the country and overthrow the NPP government have worsened after they were re-arrested last Friday and charged with high treason – the highest criminal offence in the country.
The ten, made up of a senior police officer, a senior military officer, four (4) junior ranked military officers and four (4) civilians including a medical doctor believed to be the mastermind, were initially put before an Accra High Court and charged with treason felony, abetment of treason felony and possession of firearms, ammunitions and explosives without lawful authority.
But they were re-arrested by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) on Friday following new intelligence into the case.
The initial arrests which attracted national interest occurred in September 2019, and the suspects have been on bail until they were picked up again on Friday after fresh evidence showed the extent to which they went in overthrowing the government.
The Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, was personally in court on Saturday to lead the prosecution.
He told an Accra High Court that his office has already filed processes to discontinue the first trial which had reached the stage where the court was empanelling a jury to enable the prosecution to call its first witness.
Per the new charges, Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, who is suspected to be the mastermind; Donya Kafui aka Ezor, a local weapon manufacturer; Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu aka Bright Alan Yeboah or BB, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akapewu, Lance Corporal Seidu Abubakar, WO II Esther Saan Dekuwine aka Mama Gee and Johannes Zikpi, a civilian employee with the Ghana Armed Forces, are facing two counts of conspiracy to commit high treason and high treason.
ACP Dr. Benjamin Agordzo and Col. Samuel Kojo Gameli on the other hand have been charged with two counts of abetment of high treason each.
The accused persons all pleaded not guilty to the charges of high treason, conspiracy to commit high treason and abetment of high treason.
The Attorney General told the court that the accused persons had been in custody for less than 24 hours but stressed that if the court was minded to grant them bail, then it ought to set conditions that will compel them to avail themselves for the trial.
Lawyers for the accused persons took their turns to pray the court to admit them to their old bail terms which was granted by three different courts.
The court, presided over by three judges, Justices Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, Stephen Oppong and Hafisata Amaleboba, granted the eight accused persons charged with conspiracy to commit crime and high treason a bail of GH¢2 million with two sureties each to be justified.
They are also to report to the Director of NIB every Monday and Thursday of the week as well as deposit their passports at the registry of the court.
ACP Agordzor and Col. Gameli, who are charged with abetment of high treason, were each granted GH¢1 million bail with two sureties each, one of whom is to be justified.
The two security officers are also to deposit their passports at the court’s registry as well as report to their Commanders on Mondays and Thursdays.
The court also ordered the prosecution to file disclosures for case management conference on the next court date – May 25, 2021.
Fresh Facts As Filed
The facts of the case indicate how the accused persons who are members of an NGO called Take Action Ghana (TAG) held several meetings to discuss the recruitment of more soldiers, the acquisition of weapons and bullet proof gears, development of sketch maps of key installations and facilities of the state to be attacked during their planned takeover of government.
The facts state that the accused persons were planning to capture the President and some key individuals in the country and also how to force the President to announce his overthrow once he was captured.
The accused persons were again said to have contemplated in their discussions whether or not to kill the President in the process of overthrowing the government.
According to the facts, the accused persons in furtherance of the plot to overthrow government, Dr. Mac-Palm contracted Donya Kafui to manufacture explosives and pistols and Dr. Mac-Palm subsequently converted his X-ray laboratory of his Citadel Hospital at Alajo in Accra into a manufacturing shop where Kafui mounted his tools and machines to manufacture the weapons.
Again, the accused are said to have procured weapons and test-fired the locally manufactured weapons at the military shooting range general area at Teshie, Accra.
The accused persons, according to the prosecution, also discussed the procurement of electronic jamming devices and vehicles that would enable them take over the National Communications Authority (NCA) and jam all radio stations with the exception of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), where they intended to broadcast their successful overthrow of the government from.
The facts further indicated that the military and other security agencies on September 20, 2019, stormed the Citadel Hospital and arrested Dr. Mac-Palm and Donya Kafui and also retrieved some hidden weapons from a generator set and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from some car tires on the premises of the hospital.
“A thorough search of the premises of the hospital and the houses of the accused persons by security operatives revealed the sketch maps, tools used in the manufacturing of the weapons and the IEDs, locally manufactured pistols, several rounds of ammunitions, three hand smoke grenades, among others,” the facts stressed.FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA