Fourteen alleged activists of the separatist Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF) were arraigned before the Ho Circuit Court on Tuesday, charged with prohibited organisation.
They are David Karl, 41; Francis Dente Donkor, 41; Edem Akubea, 36; Edem Nukornu 35; and Faustina Britsie, 60.
Others are Carsmeil Doste, 41; Richard Akli, 25; Kwami Dziwornu, 35; Wisdom Ametefe, 36 and Ernestina Akogo, 26.
The rest are Emmanuel Akorli, 31; Jacinta Kugblenu, 25 and Stephen Attu, 32 and Francis Adzogah, 26.
Their pleas were not taken.
The court, presided over by Mr Felix Datsomor, was told that the accused persons who are all members of the secessionist group held a secret meeting at Sovie, near Kpando last Saturday with about 50 people to discuss their strategies on how to take control of parts of Ghana, which the group unlawfully declared independent in November, last year at a rally in Ho.
Presenting the facts, Inspector S. M. Atidzon, said that members of the group had been organising such secret meetings for the past six months to advocate the cause of the HSGF.
The prosecution said that on May 30, whilst a similar meeting was in progress at Sovie, the security agencies, acting on a tip-off, swooped on the activists at the venue.
Upon seeing the personnel of the 66 Artillery Regiment from Ho and Bureau of National Investigations, the activists took to their heels, the court heard.
According to the prosecution, the security personnel chased the activists and arrested the 14, whilst others managed to escape.
The court remanded them in police custody to appear again on June 15.
Counsel for the accused persons, Mr Emile Atsu Agbakpe had earlier prayed the court to grant them bail.
He argued that SMC Decree 20 of 1976 specifically mentioned the Togoland Liberation Movement, National Liberation Movement of Western Togoland as outlawed groups, and not the HSGF.
This quickly brought Inspector Atidzon onto feet to tell the court that the Sub-section B of Section One of the same decree outlawed “any other organisation whose objectives include seceding part of Ghana to any foreign territory.”
Investigations were still ongoing and when granted bail, the accused persons may not appear for the trial, Inspector Atidzon maintained.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO