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‘ACP Agordzo will interfere with investigation if granted bail’

A Senior state attorney, yesterday told the Accra High Court that Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benjamin Agordzo will interfere with investigation if he is granted bail.

Mrs Hilda Craig argued that accused, who was charged with abetment of treason felony, was likely to get in the way of police and military men as well as personnel of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), who would testify against the accused.

She told the court presided by Justice Charles Ekow Baiden that the conduct of a senior police officer, who encouraged the overthrow of the government should not be glossed over.

Mr Martin Kpebu, counsel for accused, had applied for bail for his client, which the prosecution had opposed.

It is the case of the applicant that the hands of the judge are not tied and that the high court had jurisdiction to grant bail.

The lawyer said ACP Agordzor was a senior police officer, very revered and disciplined and would appear to stand trial.

Mr Kpebu contended that prosecution had completed investigations into the matter and forwarded the docket to the Attorney-General for advice.

ACP Agordzo, a former Director of Operations at the Ghana Police Service, together with Dr Frederick Yao Mac Palm, the Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Hospital, at Alajo, Accra, Donya Kafui, Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu with six others are facing charges of abetment of treason felony and treason.

Samuel Kojo Gameli, a senior military officer, Gershon Akpa,  a civilian employee at the Ghana Armed Forces, Warrant Officer II (WOII) Esther Doku, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akapewu and Corporal Seidu Abubakar, had been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and treason, while ACP Agordzor was charged with abetment of crime.

In November 2019, the substitution of the charge sheet by the prosecution stirred controversy as the defence team urged the court not to allow prosecution to file another charge sheet.

Mr Kpebu asked the court to allow his client to go home so that the case could start afresh.

Mrs Bans, the presiding magistrate, asked Mr Kpebu to state the law, which bars prosecution from substituting a charge.

But, Mr Kpebu could not state the exact provision, but referred to an instance in which a magistrate at the Osu District Court stopped National Security personnel from arresting an accused who was discharged.

ASP Asare argued that “withdrawal of the charge sheet does not exclude substitution of a charge sheet”.

He said to discharge an accused in a criminal matter was not acquittal, adding that it was not stated anywhere “in our jurisprudence that discharge constitutes acquittal and the case starts afresh”.

ASP Asare said the provision Mr Kpebu sought to rely on did not suggest anywhere expressly that prosecution could substitute a charge sheet.

“In fact, the provision buttresses our conduct to the effect that we can even withdraw a count. All that we seek to do is to substitute and consolidate the charge sheet,” prosecution said.

The facts according to the prosecution are that Dr Mac-Palm and his colleagues belonged to an association called Take Action Ghana (TAG), and had planned to stage demonstrations, ostensibly to topple the government.

ASP Asare said in July this year, accused contacted a blacksmith from Alavanyo, in the Volta Region, to manufacture 22 explosives, six ammunitions and five pistols.

The court heard that the manufacturer charged alleged accomplices GH¢2,300 as the cost of each pistol and GH¢400.00 for each explosive.

Prosecution said on September 19, Dr Mac-Palm and Kafui were arrested after test-firing at Teshie military shooting range.

The case had been adjourned to January 21, 2020 for ruling.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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