Court remands 31 suspected separatists

The 31 suspected members of the separatist group, Western Togolanders, who were arrested last Friday, for unlawfully taking over Juapong, a town in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region, have been remanded into the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) by an Accra circuit court, yesterday.

The accused, who include a female, were remanded by the presiding Judge, Rosemary Baah-Tosu  to make their next appearance on  October 13, 2020.

The court stated that the accused should be allowed to have access to their lawyers and family members.

They were provisionally charged on five counts, including rioting, conspiracy to attend meeting of prohibited organisation, unlawful gathering and gathering under prohibited name, but their pleas were not taken.

Some of them were sobbing immediately the judge remanded them into the BNI custody and armed personnel from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service at the Court Premise were spotted at the court premises.

The State Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Mensah,  who led the prosecution, asked the court to remand the alleged separatists.

He said personnel of the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces and the BNI have left Accra to parts of the Volta Region for further investigations into the case, and granting accused bail could hamper investigations.

The counsel for all the accused, Mr Theophilus Donkor, prayed the court to grant his clients bail, stating that the 48-hour period for keeping suspects has been breached.

It would be recalled that Ghanaian Times in its Saturday, September 26, 2020, issue, reported that the military and police arrested 31 members of the separatist group, who had unlawfully taken over Juapong.

One of the suspects, the only female, was arrested in Akuse in the Lower Manya District of the Eastern Region while the rest were nabbed in Juapong.

They were airlifted to the Air Force base at Burma Camp in Accra amid heavy security, thoroughly searched and whisked in Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) branded vehicles to the BNI.

Ghanaians, on Friday dawn woke up to the news of the group taking over the Volta Region, mounting road blocks and erecting giant sign posts at Juapong with the inscription ‘Welcome to Western Togoland’.


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