High Court varies bail conditions of six in treason trial
An Accra High Court on Friday varied the bail conditions of six of the accused standing trial in a treason charge, from GH¢10 million with two sureties each, to GH¢6 million with three sureties each to be justified.
This follows an application made by the accused for the court to vary the previous conditions as they could not meet it.
They are Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, Chief Executive Officer of the Citadel Hospital; Donyo Kafui, alias Ezor, blacksmith; Bright Alan Debrah, Freight; Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli; Corporal Seidu Abubakar and Lance Corporal (L/C), Sylvester Akankpewu.
The six, together with two others were earlier granted GH¢10 million bail each with two sureties each.
The other two were not part of the application for variation.
The eight are to report to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) twice a week as well as deposit their passports with the Court’s Registry.
When the case was called on Friday only ACP Dr Benjamin Agordzo, Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli and Warrant Officer Class One Esther Saan were present, the rest were still in the prison custody as measures by the authorities to curb COVID-19 spread.
The Court presided over by Justice Samuel K. Asiedu, an Appeals Court Judge sitting in as an additional High Court Judge.
They are to make their next appearance on July 3.
Already, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benjamin Agordzo has been granted a self-recognisance bail of GH¢500,000.00 by an Accra High Court presided over by Justice Charles Ekow Baiden, whilst Warrant Officer Class Two Esther Saan has also been granted bail by another High Court.
They have been charged together with Warrant Officer II Esther Saan, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benjamin Agordzo and L/C Ali Solomon with offences including conspiracy to commit treason, treason, conspiracy to possess explosives, arms and ammunitions and possession of explosives, arms and ammunitions without lawful authority.
Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu, counsel for Dr Mac-Palm, Kafui, Debrah, Akpa, Abubakar, and Akankpewu in appealing for the variation said his clients were having difficulty with documentation to meet the bail conditions.
Miss Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney in opposing the variation of bail said they had not made any effort to contact investigators in executing the bail.
The Judge charged the AG to ensure the accused were brought to Court for a speedy trial.
The Kaneshie District Court on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, committed the 10 accused charged with treason to the High Court to face trial.
Mrs Eleanor Kakra Barnes-Botchway, the presiding judge, 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 then remanded them into prison custody except Mr Agordzo who was on bail, but Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli, a senior military officer and Warrant Officer Class One Esther Saan, alias “Mama Gee,” are also on bail but had not been able to meet the bail conditions.
The facts are that Mac-Palm, Kafui, Debra, ACP Agordzo is a police officer and the rest officers of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
They were all members of the Take Action Ghana-a Non-Governmental Organisation, incorporated by Mac-Palm in 2018 and that the group planned to demonstrate against the government as well as overtake it, so Mac-Palm contacted Kafui, a resident of Alavanyo to manufacture arms for that purpose and he produced them.
They also held meetings to facilitate the process and drew a map covering the Flagstaff House, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, 37 Military Hospital, Burma Camp to facilitate their movements.
Colonel Gameli was said to have promised to give his support before, during and after the planned event and when Kafui brought the 22 explosives, six pistols, three grenades and five ammunitions, Mac-Palm accommodated him, adding that all took place from June 2018 to September 2019.
The Prosecution said Mac-Palm was said to have also provided a quantity of substance which when inhaled, would make one sleep for an hour, thus upon a tip-off, Mac-Palm was arrested on September 19 and the rest subsequently.