Court to consider ACP Agordzo bail application Jan 16

An Accra High Court yesterday adjourned to January 16, 2020, to consider the bail application of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benjamin Agordzo.

The court also asked the Attorney General’s (A-G) Department and lawyers for ACP Agordzo to file their written addresses in the case in which the accused is seeking  bail.

Mrs Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney, told the court that the defence counsel, Mr Martin Kpebu, had served the prosecution with a supplementary affidavit, and that she needed time to file a response.  

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 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.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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