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Court commits accused to High Court for trial

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The Kaneshie District Court on Tuesday committed the ten accused charged with treason to the High Court to face trial.

Mrs Eleanor Kakra Barnes-Botchway committing them said the Court after listening to the Prosecution, their counsel as well as examining the facts, among other documents was overwhelmed with the evidence and said there was the need for them to answer the charges at the High Court.

She therefore remanded them into prison custody except Assistant Commissioner of Police, Benjamin Kwasi Agordzo on bail, whilst Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli, a senior military officer and Warrant Officer Class One Esther Saan, alias “Mama Gee,” who are also currently on bail but had not met the bail conditions.

Their pleas have not yet been taken and they are to appear before the High Court on April 6, 2020 for trial to commence.

The ten accused persons all told the Court they were innocent and whilst what some said to the Court were consistent with what is in their cautioned statements, others said things contrary to what they had already told investigators.

Ms Hilda Craig, who represented the Attorney General again read the facts to the Court.

After reading the facts to the Court, she submitted the exhibits into the Court’s custody including the Food and Drugs Authority’s report on the nine rounds of ammunition, Forensic Science Laboratory Report (FSLR) on 67 rounds of ammunition, FSLR on locally made pistols, covering letter of examinations of suspected improvised explosives, report on gun powder, crime scene report, sketch maps of vital security areas, minutes of their meetings and technical report on electronic device (audio and video).

The Court ordered the Prosecution to release the electronic gadgets of the accused on or before March 13, 2020.

All the accused denied the offence during the committal proceedings Colonel Gameli, asked by the Court what he had to say about being charged over an abetment of crime to wit treason, he said he was surprised about the facts read in Court which linked him to the alleged Group.

“As a Senior officer, I have served the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and Mother Ghana for 31 years and was recently promoted so for me being accused of this allegation, is that the best way to thank my superiors and with my experience, all these facts do not come close to a coup d’etat at all because I know what destabilization of a country or government is because of what I witnessed in Liberia and Rwanda,” he added.

He denied being on any whatsapp platform relating to the alleged Group and had not planned with any group of people among whom were military personnel which would lead to the overthrow of the government.

Colonel Gameli told the Court that apart from Dr Fred Yao Mac-Palm and Johanese Zikpi, he did not know any of the military persons, neither had they discussed anything concerning overthrowing the government, but added that in the situation they found themselves, his heart went out for them and he is their commander but said he was not happy about the way he had been handled so far by the sister security agencies.

He emphasized that the Medical Doctor was a friend, school mate and a family, saying the last time he went to him was September 2019, when he reported to him sick for treatment and a bill of GH¢1,650.00 was issued to him by the close of that year.

I have no knowledge in respect to the weapons found at the premises of Mac-Palm’s Hospital, how they were acquired or their characteristics.

“I think me being linked to this alleged coup plot is an orchestration by the investigative security agencies because of some serious problems within GAF, which some of us are aware, so I am being intimidated and victimized,” he told the Court.

ACP Agordzo on the other hand, said he was innocent and expressed his surprise that despite the abundant evidence on the Take Action Ghana (TAG), whatsapp platform, the prosecution had charged him with abetment.

Prosecution was aware of why I donated the GH¢2,000.00 because they knew the medical outreaches TAG does and there were pictures to that effect, they were aware of the statements in respect to mass mobilization was made and that I never drafted any speech but a common message many might have had access to and it was within a context.

He said dangers posed by vigilante groups had become both local and international issue and it was at the time that the Ayawaso Wuogon violence had been recorded.

“I am a citizen of Ghana and not a spectator and within that context, I spoke and made my voice known.”

He said the particular whatsapp platform was shared by hundreds of people such as lawyers, Police officers, soldiers, teachers, Civil Society Organisations to share ideas and I shared my idea on vigilantism which is even a subject matter, nationally and internationally.

I am certain that the prosecution has ulterior motive to gag and destroy my career.

He expressed his dissatisfaction about how junior ranked police officers handled him instead of seniors.

“By our security rules, nobody lower should investigate which is a humiliation. It is not allowed in our protocols and regulations. ASP Asare should not be the one to prosecute me. The former CID boss’ attention was drawn to it and she ignored. I reported to a Chief Inspector when I go to the BNI, it is a torture and it should not be allowed to go, no.”

He continued “When I go to the Police headquarters, I report to the IGP or his Second-In-Command. This kind of humiliation must stop!” How comfortable would that junior feel if he or she is to work under me in future?

Ms Craig said impugning on the integrity of the prosecution will not wash and that in reference to ASP Asare she said, “This is a crime and not service enquiry and it is against the state not the Police Service, anyone put in charge is representing the State not the police. He was doing preliminary issues,” she stated.

She said “He will be refusing to act when superiors have asked him to do so, it is about the State and the Attorney General has that power to do what he had to do”.

The Court charged the lawyers to advise their clients to respect the Prosecution’s procedures.

Source: GNA

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