‘Remanding them doesn’t mean they are guilty’ – Court refuses bail request for 29 ‘secessionists’

The lawyers for the alleged 29 Western Togoland secessionists, arraigned before the Accra Circuit Court have accused the prosecution of using remand to punish them.

Contrary to the prosecution’s case for keeping the accused persons in custody, the lawyers said no further investigation was taking place rather they were just being punished under the pretext of remand.

The lawyers’ frustrations come after their third consecutive bail application was denied by the presiding judge, Rosemond Baah Tosu.

The lawyers, who reiterated a call for bail, complained of a deliberate attempt by the prosecution to derail the case and further keep the accused persons in their custody.

But the judge disagreed.

“Remanding the accused persons doesn’t mean they are guilty. It is just to allow the prosecution enough time to investigate so they don’t charge an innocent person with a crime they didn’t commit,” the judge said.

But a dissatisfied lawyer, Dennis Seyram blurted out, “what at all are they investigating?”

The prosecution had a response.

“We are still investigating; we cannot say there is an unreasonable delay in cases of treason felony. The state is using all available resources to chase those on the run.

“The state is not interested in jailing innocent people, our officers are not sleeping my lady,” the prosecutor, ASP Slyvester Asare, explained.

To calm the tension, the judge insisted that the justice held no malice and referred them to the 22 accused persons who were earlier discharged after the prosecution completed its investigations.

The prosecution had in the past argued that the Circuit Court had no jurisdiction over the case as treason cases are tried by the High Court.

The circuit court is meant to indict them.

The court is yet to take the accused person’s plea, almost two months after their arrest.

The case has been adjourned to December 2, 2020.

ALSO READ: Rejoice can now rejoice – Secessionist discharged

Lawyers for the accused persons are Theophilus Donkor, Sem Iroko, Benson Dennis Seyram, Vincent Gaah and Bernard Dzinyela.

This is the third time the accused persons have been remanded by the Accra Circuit Court. With no hope in sight, the accused persons could only sigh at the mention of ‘remand’.

The 29 accused persons are Nene Kwaku Agblorm II, Ernest Kpevu, Devine Seddoh, Bright Klutsey, Selasi Gbadago, Gilbert Nyadzinyo, Benjamin Gabadago, Felix Sosa, Lawrence Nyadzinor, Excel Liberty and Aheto Kuegbesika.

The others are Divine Nyadzinor, Godwin Awudza, William Amenor, Agbemenya Doste, Lousie Nyadzinor, Mawulolo Ahorble, Fiave Joeffery, George Akweti, Noah Ahiatorgah, ,

The rest are Samuel Gbolomo, Rapheal Tettevi, James Nanewortor, Abednego Dzreke Mawuena, Emmenuel Hayfor Afedo, Isaac Kwesi Afeku, Richard Adri, Prosper Avumenyi, John Korbla Gbedema and Stephen Asime.

Secessionists en route after remand

Facts of the case

The suspects are members of a prohibited organization namely Western Togoland Foundation and related Organization. That the core objective of both group is to separate a section of the east most part of the entire country which they describe to be Western Togoland and usurp the executive powers of the Republic of Ghana.

The group has its stronghold in the Volta region and has pockets of followers
across the towns namely, Osuwem, Juapong, Volo, Mamfe, Bator,
Mepe, Aveyime, Ho and many others.

Nene Kwaku Agblorm II, Felix Sosa and Lawrence Nyadzinor have been identified as National Executive Council Members of Western Togoland Restoration Front.

Another group, Homeland Study Group Foundation is headed by a grey-haired octogenarian, Charles Kormi Kudzordzi, popularly called Papavi, and has illegally trained the youth numbering over two hundred to take up arms to fight their struggles.

Charles Kormi Kudzordzi popularly called Papavi surrounded by some of his members

It has been moving its unlawful training grounds from one town to the other to outwit the security operatives. The leadership of the groups in recent times have been holding a series of illegal meeting at Afife.

Mepe, Juapong, Nyatikpo, Aveyime and other towns in the Volta region with the agenda of how to achieve their aim.

Devine Seddoh, an  alleged active member of the group was then assigned the role of education, to organise more followers from the northern stretch of their target
territory, particularly ewes.

Ernest Kpevu,  denied the responsibility to supply firearms to the group, but have been making financial donations to enhance their illegal activities.

Somewhere in September 2020, a collective decision was made by executive and
members of Western Togoland Restoration Front at Afife to organise and riot and block the two major roads at Juapong and also attack drivers at the State Transport Corporation Terminal at Ho and rob them of their busses.

Intercity Mini bus terminal at Ho set ablaze by Western Togoland members

The meeting was attended by the accused persons together with others at large.

On September 9, 2020, the accused persons together with others at large camped themselves at Afife in preparation for the attack.

On September 25, 2020, at about 1 am, the accused persons dressed in Western Togoland “T” shirts, armed with offensive weapons such as guns, cutlasses, cudgels among others went amok and blocked the Juapong-Akuse road at Abotoase junction and Juapong-Accra road at Akrade near the Customs checkpoint.

They used logs to cross the road and burnt lorry tyres in the middle of it, preventing road users from accessing it.

All the accused persons present at the crime scene executed the crime with pleasure wantonly displaying the flags of Western Togoland amidst chanting “we want freedom,” the prosecution said.

Their action caused heavy vehicular traffic along that enclave of the road rendering passengers and travellers stranded. The accused persons fiercely engaged the military in a gun battle on their arrival at the scene.

They were however overpowered and arrested whiles others managed to escape.

Secessionists arrests
Some secessionists arrested in the Volta Region

On September 29, 2020, Dzreke Mawuena and Emmenuel Hayfor Afedo in the company of other accused persons now at large stormed the bus terminal of
STC, Ho and violently demanded the keys of the buses available but were denied.

They took offence and set the two buses ablaze and wen to hiding. Police intelligence led to their arrest.

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