Military men arrest 14 Western Togolanders in Kpando
Soldiers from the 66 Artillery Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have arrested 14 people believed to be members of the Home Land Study Group Foundation, which is championing secession of the Volta Region.
The suspects were picked up on May 30, for holding a meeting in Kpando-Aziavi in the Volta Region to execute operations in the Volta Region and the Oti Region, according to the military.
The suspects included 11 men and three women, one of whom was carrying a 2-year-old child.
They were picked up based on information relayed to the military by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and Defence Intelligence.
Major Jalali Deen Ibrahim, the Second In Command (2iC) at the 66 Artillery Regiment, explained that they received information about the activities of the group at about 8:00 am on Saturday.
“I sent about three patrols out to go and verify, and if it’s true, they take the appropriate action and lo-and-behold, they went and met the people having their meeting, and so they picked them up. The number was more than what we have here, but obviously some managed to escape. But we got 14 of them,” he told the media at a short briefing.
According to him, “We had some evidence, some documents of intelligence and military value. (They were) very important documents which show their intentions and plans. And so we have picked those up”.
He said the documents had been shared with the BNI to aid their investigations.
The suspects were initially taken to the Kpando District Police Station, but later transported to police at the Regional Police Headquarters in Ho for further action.
Led by the Chairman of the Homeland Study Group Foundation, Charles Kormi Kudzodzi, alias Papavi Hogbedetor, the group has embarked on a series of activities to have the Volta Region, parts of the North East and Upper East regions declared as an independent state called Western Togoland.
On May 9, 2017, the group unsuccessfully tried to declare the independence of Western Togoland.
On Thursday, May 9, 2019, the Ghana Police Service arrested eight leaders for embarking on activities deemed unlawful.
Papavi Hogbedetor, however, announced the separation of the Western Togoland on social media on Saturday, November 16, 2019, after a group meeting in Ho.
The police declared the 85-year-old leader of the group wanted in December 2019 over the declaration.
In February 2020, the 66 Artillery Regiment arrested 21 suspects from a secret training camp at Kpevedui, near Dzodze in the Ketu North Municipality in the Volta Region.
The group also managed to hoist a flag of Western Togoland in front of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council on the eve of Ghana’s independence day celebration this year.