9 charged with treason over Alajo coup plot
State prosecutors have charged nine persons with treason for allegedly engaging in an “elaborate plot” to destabilize the government.
Two other persons, personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces, Lance Corporals Godwin Nii Ankrah and Albert Baba Ibrahim, have meanwhile been discharged by the court after the state dropped charges against them.
The suspects charged with first degree felony are;
-Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, Dornyah “Ezor” Kafui – a local weapon manufacturer
-Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu (aka BB or ADC) – a freight manager
-Gershun Akpa – a civilian employee of the Armed Forces.
Also, soldiers, Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli, WO2 Esther Saan, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Sylvester Akanbiri have been charged with treason.
Defense lawyer, Victor Adawudu, told the court the charges are trumped and demanded that the accused persons are discharged.
He alleged that a man whose name he only gave as Sulley is the brain behind the plot to frame his clients.
The defense lawyer said the charges filed by the state cannot be heard at the district court. Other defense lawyers associated themselves with Mr Adawudu’s application.
But rebutting, state prosecutor ASP Sylvester Asare said the concerns by the lawyers are misplaced and insisted the state is at the right forum commencing proceedings against the accused persons.
He said the case will eventually end up in a trial at the high court.
ASP Sylvester Asare rejected the claims of framing the suspects. He said he found it disturbing but insisted taxpayers money will not be wasted to set people up.
The Magistrate presiding over the Kaneshie District Court Rosemond Dodua Agyiri dismissed the application saying the District Court has jurisdiction since its not a trial court but rather handling committal proceedings.
The court has meanwhile directed that the soldiers among the charged persons be kept in military custody while the civilians were remanded into police custody (Ministries, Osu and Nima Police Stations).
This followed allegations by lawyers that the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) has failed to grant them access to their clients as ordered the court. The case has been adjourned to October 28.
‘Plan to destabilize the government’
The government in a statement released last month said a joint security operation led to the retrieval of several cache of arms, explosive devices and ammunition from locations in Accra and Kpone-Bawaleshie in Dodowa.
The charge of possession of explosives, arms and ammunition without lawful excuse was then leveled against some of them.
State prosecutor, ASP Sylvester Asare on Wednesday informed the Kaneshie District Court that the serving soldiers were members of ‘Take Action Ghana’ (TAG), a group led by Dr Mac-Palm.
According to him, they intended to engage in a series of demonstrations geared at toppling the government.
He revealed they have since secured the services of one other person already in custody to produce explosives and guns for the operation.
Payments amounting to ¢2,300 according to prosecution were made for the six pistols while ¢400 has since been paid for some explosives.
He also said plans were made to purchase two AK 47s at a price of ¢7,000.
The state prosecutor also said the senior military officer was asked to recruit other soldiers for the operation. He said they planned to take over key installations including the Jubilee House, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, National Police training school, the 37 Military Hospital and Burma Camp.
These facilities, he said, were part of locations sketched on a map to be used for the operation.
He said Dr Mac-Palm gave the other accused persons chemicals to be mixed with the explosives to put victims to sleep for at least an hour once they inhale the smoke emanating from the detonated explosives.