Alleged coup plotters lament over “military escort” to court

Some Military Officers who are being held allegedly over treason-related charges have lamented to an Accra High Court over how some of their colleagues have been detailed to follow them to court.

Mr Eric Pongo, who held the brief of Kojogah Adawudu, indicated that Colonel Kojo Gameli, his client who is on a court bail is being followed to the court.

Counsel for Warrant officer II Esther Saan, Ziyeli Agambilla, also indicated that his client was also being given a military escort to the court.

A practice, both lawyers found to be intimidating and needless, praying the court to intervene.

Squadron Leader Sandra Efusah Nana Agyemang, a lawyer of the Ghana Armed Forces who stood as friend of the court explained that the said “military escort” was part of the Ghana Armed Forces protocol and the practice did amount to intimidation but offer some morale to the accused.

The trial Judge, Mr Samuel K Asiedu, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, held that he saw nothing wrong with the practice since the practice did not infringe on the rights and liberties of those officers.

Dr Frederick Yao Mac Palm and ten others are being held over alleged treason charges.

All the accused persons have met their bail conditions except Donyo Kafui, Johannes Zikpi, a civilian worker for the Ghana Armed Force and Corporal Seidu Abubakar, a soldier.

Prosecution had earlier told the Court that Dr Mac Palm is a medical doctor and the Director for the Citadel Hospital, Donyo, alias Ezor is a blacksmith, Debrah is a Freight Manager, whereas WO 2 Saan, Corporal Abubakar, Lance Corporal Ali and Sylvester Akanpewu are soldiers.

Prosecution said Colonel Kojo Gameli and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benjamin Korsi Agordzo are senior military and Police officers in that order. All the accused belong to “Take Action Ghana,” a Non-Governmental Organisation.

According to the Prosecution in June 2018, security agencies picked up intelligence of the group’s intention to overthrow the government and usurp executive powers, thus, they held several meetings to that effect at the expense of Dr Mac Palm.

Prosecution mentioned some of the issues discussed at the meetings as recruiting more soldiers, acquire arms, procurement of electronic gadgets, on how to capture the President among some key personalities in government as well as drew a road map for their operation.

Prosecution said their discussions also included whether to kill the President, adding that, all these were recorded.

According to prosecution, Zikpi, who is skilled in communication gadgets, was recruited by Colonel Gameli, whilst Donyo was employed by Dr Mac Palm to manufacture arms, and that Colonel Gameli had also advised Dr Mac Palm to be careful with the site for their meetings.

The Prosecution said Donyo was brought to Accra from Alavanyo in the Volta Region, to the Citadel Hospital to manufacture local arms and was agreed later that Dr Mac Palm would procure more to augment his armoury.

Prosecution said investigations revealed that the group was incorporated in August 2018 and a WhatsApp platform was created to recruit members, where ACP Agordzo was added, and he in turn supported them with GH¢1,000.00 and drafted a speech for Dr Mac Palm.

The prosecution said on September 19, 2019, Dr Mac Palm and Donyo went to the Military Shooting Range to test fire their weapons where they were arrested.

According to the prosecution after their release, they went to the hospital to conceal the manufactured weapons, but luck eluded them when the military and other security agencies stormed there the next day, leading to their arrest.

The rest were also arrested and handed over to the National Investigations Bureau,(NIB)where a search at the Hospital revealed the weapons.

The trial has been adjourned to May 4.

Source: GNA

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