Attempt to topple govt: Military accused of abusing rights of accused

Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu, counsel for seven out of the nine persons charged with conspiracy to commit treason, has accused the military of breaching the human rights of his clients.

The accused were charged together with Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, the Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Hospital, at Alajo, Accra, for attempting to topple the government.

The court made an order for prosecution to allow accused to have access to their families and counsel.

Mr Adawudu claimed that any time he visited his clients, who were in military custody, two personnel from the intelligence defence were sent to record his conversation with the accused.

Counsel told the court presided by Mrs Eleanor Botwe that the conduct of the military was a violation of the constitutional rights of the accused and Section 100 of the Evidence Act.

Mr Adawudu said he had written to the Director General, Legal, Ghana Armed Forces, to request unimpeded access to the accused.

Mrs Botwe said Mr Adawudu should be given the opportunity to confer with his clients.

She said that the intelligence personnel should stand behind the door, adding lawyer-client conversation is a privilege under the Evidence Act.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare said he was unaware of the development, and said he would confer with his colleagues and report the outcome to court.

On October 9, 2019, the court remanded Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli, a senior military officer, Gershon Akpa,  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.

Dr Mac-Palm, and eight others whose pleas were not taken were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit treason and two counts of possession of explosives, arms and ammunitions without lawful excuse.

The other accused were Donyo Kafui, a local weapon manufacturer and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu (aka BB or ADC), a freight manager.

The prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare, told the court presided over by Mrs Rosemond Dodua Agyari, then presiding, 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.

He said in July this year, the 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 his alleged accomplices GH¢2,300 as the cost of each pistol and GH¢400.00 for each explosive.

He 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 in the premises of the Citadel Hospital revealed six unregistered pistol, 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 November 12.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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