Alleged coup plotters case: Docket forwarded to A-G

The docket of the case in which Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Agordzor and nine others have been charged with treason and abetment of crime, has been forwarded to the Attorney-General’s (A-G) office for advice.

The prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare told the Kaneshie District Court presided by Mrs Elleanor Kakra Bans, yesterday, that trial could begin in earnest, depending on the advice from the A-G.

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.

They were charged together with Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, the Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Hospital, at Alajo, Accra, and Donyo Kafui, a local weapon manufacturer.

Meanwhile, Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu, counsel for four of the accused, said he had filed a motion on notice requesting the court to order prosecution to disclose its evidence.

ASP Asare asked the court for time to enable the prosecution to file its affidavit in opposition.

It is recalled that eight of the ten accused, including ACP Agordzor were already denied bail by an Accra high court presided by Justice George Buadi in 2019.

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 Martin Kpebu, counsel for ACP Agordzor, 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 court heard that a search conducted on the premises of the Citadel Hospital revealed six unregistered pistols, one registered pistol, 22 explosives, three grenades, 63 rounds of ammunition, two empty AK47 magazines and other machines used in manufacturing weapons.

The case has been adjourned to January 23, 2020.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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