10 Homeland Study Group Foundation
TEN members of the Homeland Study Group Foundation, which has been agitating for a sovereign state for the Volta Region, were yesterday put before the Ho Magistrate Court One, charged with ‘preparing to take part in a public meeting.’
The accused, including two women, pleaded not guilty.
They were among 81 members of the group arrested in a joint police-military operation in Ho earlier in the week.
They are Richard Adzaleh, Kwaku Vivor, Creatson Mortey, Hope Hor and Gideon Fudzi Joseph Johnson Kwame, Gladys Seshime, Gideon Agbodzie, Baby Kpetsey Yawo and TorgbeKwasi Adzimah IV.
The court granted each accused bail in the sum GH¢ 500 with a surety who must be a public servant.
Chief Superintendent Ayamga Yakubu told the court presided by Mr Ebenezer Kwaku Ansah that the Homeland Study Group Foundation, which the accused belonged to, was waging a campaign for the Volta and Oti regions to secede from the rest of Ghana, and form sovereign state to be called Western Togoland.
The prosecution said that the leader of the group, Charles Kudzordzi, and seven other members were earlier arrested by the security agencies and taken to Accra.
Chief Sup Yakubu said the police received information that the accused were planning to hold “a special event” in solidarity with their arrested leader.
The court heard that on May 8, this year, at about 7.00 am, the accused, who did not inform the police about their plan to hold a public meeting, began converging at the Ho Barracks New Town, while others were in vehicles from the Anlo and Hohoe areas.
Chief Sup Yakubu said they were arrested, and the 10 were identified as the organisers of the meeting, after screening.
In a response, counsel for the accused, Mr Atsu Agbakpe, said the charge levelled against his clients did not exist in the country’s law books.
Counsel expressed misgivings over the heavy presence of police and military personnel armed to the teeth around the court building, saying it was intimidating.
Mr Agbakpe said that the group was a lawful entity, “so, everyone could join the group and exercise his or her right to association”.
Counsel said accused had not committed any crime for solidarising with their arrested leader, and B the claim by prosecution that the accused were poised for ‘a special event’ was meaningless.
Hearing continues on May 21.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO