8 secessionists arrested in VR

Eight members of the Homeland Study Group which has been agitating for an autonomous state for the Volta were arrested in a swoop by the security agencies in Ho, on Sunday and airlifted to Accra.

The swoop was carried out immediately they finished a meeting in a building adjacent to the Ho Royal Hospital, following intelligence gathered by the security agencies.

The Volta Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Edward Oduro Kwarteng, confirmed the story to the Ghanaian Times in Ho yesterday.

He gave names of the suspects as Charles K. Kudzordzi, 85, the group leader, Benjamin Agbodzagah, 48; Nipple Tonye Kudzo, 61 and Agbenyagah Akudzi, 54.

The rest are Thompson Taught, 58; Kofi Dzreke, 54; Freeman Bilaku, 36 and Bisa Akorli.

According to the Regional Police Commander, the meeting attended by the suspects was a prelude to plans by the Homeland Study Group, to declare independence for the region.

The swoop, he said, involved 26 armed police officers, 20 armed military personnel and some Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) operatives.

DCOP Kwarteng said, that the eight men were whisked to the 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho, where a waiting helicopter flew them to Accra.

He explained that the actions of the suspects pointed to secession which was a very serious offence in Ghana.

“They were handed over to Squadron Leader Evans Opoku, in Accra, for further action,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a press statement issued and copied to the Ghanaian Times by Assistant Superintendent of Police(ASP) Simon Tenkuu for the Director-General of Police Public Affairs, said, intelligence agencies had gathered sufficient evidence including a constitution, national emblem, prepared by the suspects and others for their support for their supposed country.

He said activities of the group also include illegal recruiting and training young people in a “militia style” for them to form the core of their supposed country’s armed forces and police force.

ASP Tenkuu said the Police Administration assured the public that any person who is found culpable of wrongdoing would be dealt with according to law and is therefore urging the public to volunteer information on the group, its leaders and members to police.

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO

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