Alleged coup plotters committed to stand trial at High Court

The 10 persons, including two senior officers of the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service, charged with conspiracy to commit crime and treason have been committed to stand trial at the Accra High Court. 

Colonel Samuel Gameli, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ACP) Benjamin Kwasi Agordzor, Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, the Chief Executive of Citadel Hospital at Alajo, Accra, have been charged together with other military personnel and two civilians with various charges including conspiracy to commit crime, treason, abetment of crime and possession of arms and ammunition and explosives without lawful excuse.

The presiding magistrate of the Kaneshie District Court, Mrs Elleanor Kakra Bans, said she was of the considered view that the accused had questions to answer as the facts and evidence presented against them was overwhelming.  

She, thus, committed seven out of the ten accused  to Nsawam Prison for safe keeping, and ordered that Colonel Samuel Gameli and WOII Esther Saan, a nursing mother to remain in military custody.

Although their pleas were not taken, all the accused had denied knowledge of the charges levelled against them.

They would all make their first appearance at the high court on April 6, 2020 at 9am.

The prosecutor, Mrs Hilda Craig, said in June 2018, the security agencies received information regarding the activities of some group of persons, who were planning to overthrow President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

According to her, intelligence revealed that Debrah, a fleet manager in Accra was holding meetings with WOII Saan, Lance Corporal Ali Seidu, Corporal Sylvester Akapewu and Lance Corporal Ali Solomon in furtherance of the plot to overthrow the government.

She said the accused held several meetings where they discussed recruitment of more soldiers, the acquisition of weapons and bullet proof gears, development of sketch maps of key installations and facilities of the state to be attacked during the takeover.

Mrs Craig stated that the accused also discussed the procurement of electronic jamming devices and vehicles that would enable them take over the National Communications Authority (NCA) and jam all radio stations with the exception of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).

 Further discussions by Dr Mac-Palm, Kafui and a witness in the case  bordered on how to capture the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Staff, and the plan to force the President to announce his overthrow once he was captured.

She said there were discussions also on whether or not to kill the President in the process of overthrowing the government.

To facilitate their communication in the grand scheme of overthrowing the government, Debrah supplied some members of the group, including WOII Saan, Corporal Abubakar, Corporal Akapewu and Lance Corporal Solomon with mobile phones. 

The court heard that Zikpi, a civilian employee at the Ghana Armed Forces  with the knowledge of various communication gadgets was recruited by Col. Gameli to support Dr Mac-Palm to procure communication and the jamming equipment for the overthrow plot. 

She said Col. Gameli who was regularly meeting with Dr Mac-Palm and Zikpi at the Citadel hospital in one such meeting advised Dr Mac-Palm to be careful about where they meet the soldiers in order to avoid being found out. 

The senior state attorney said Col. Gameli contacted Kafui from Alavanyo in the Volta Region to manufacture explosives and pistols. 

Mr Craig said Kafui was brought to Accra with his tools, machines and other materials required for the manufacturing of the weapons.

She said Dr Mac-Palm then converted the X-ray laboratory of the Citadel Hospital into a manufacturing shop where Kafui mounted his tools and machines to manufacture the weapons.

 Dissatisfied with the number of weapons manufactured, the prosecutor said Dr Mac-Palm procured the services of one Gershon Akpa, a weapon mechanic at the Base Workshop of the Ghana Armed Forces to procure AK47.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA 

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