Senior Police officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Benjamin Agordzo and nine (9) others have been indicted by the Kaneshie District Court presided over by Magistrate Eleanor Kakra Barnes-Botchway to stand trial at the High Court on charges of treason felony and possession of explosives, arms and ammunition without lawful Excuse.
The accused persons in the case of “The Republic versus Dr Fredrick Mac Palm and nine (9) others”, Dr. Fredrick Mac Palm (1st accused person), Donyo Kafui A.K.A Ezor (2nd accused person), Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu a.k.a Bright Alan Yeboah (3rd accused person), Col. Samuel Kodzo Gameli (4th accused person), Johannes Zipki (5th accused person), W.0.2 Esther Saan Dekuwine (6th accused person), Cpl. Seidu Abubakari (7th accused person), L/Cpl. Ali Solomon (8th accused person), L/Cpl. Sylvester Akanpewon (9th Accused person) and ACP Benjamin Agordzo (10th accused person), are suspected to have masterminded a fifteen-month plot to destabilize the country and possibly take over the government of the Republic.
The accused persons have been charged with five (5) counts of conspiracy to commit crime namely Treason Felony contrary to sections 23 (1) and 182 (b) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), Abetment of Crime, namely Treason Felony contrary to sections 20 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), Treason Felony contrary to sections 182 (b) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), conspiracy to commit crime namely, Possession of Explosives, Arms and Ammunition without Lawful Excuse, contrary to section 192 (1) Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), and Possession of Explosives, Arms and Ammunition without Lawful Excuse, contrary to section 192 (1) Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
Senior State Attorney, Hilda Craig, after the charges of the accused persons were read to them without taking their plea read the brief facts of the case to the hearing of the Court. She indicated that the State during the trial at the High Court will call nineteen (19) Prosecution Witnesses and they will tender in evidence as many as one hundred and thirteen (113) exhibits in the course of the trial.
Brief Facts and Background
The State in its brief facts states that the “1st accused is a Medical Doctor and the Director of Citadel Hospital located at Alajo, Accra. The 2nd accused is a blacksmith. The 3rd accused is a fleet manager in Accra.”
“The 4th accused is a civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces. The 5th accused is a senior Military officer in the Ghana Armed Forces, and the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th accused persons are soldiers of the Ghana Armed Forces whilst the 10th accused is a senior Police Officer”.
The State further says that “sometime in June 2018, the security agencies picked up information regarding activities of some group of persons who were planning to overthrow the constitutionally elected Government of the Republic of Ghana.”
“Further intelligence revealed that the 3rd accused was holding meetings with the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th accused persons in furtherance of the plot to overthrow the government”.
“Acting on the intelligence gathered, surveillance was mounted on the activities of the accused persons which revealed that the accused persons held several meetings to plot the overthrow of the government. At these meetings, several issues were discussed some of which included the recruitment of more soldiers, the acquisition of weapons and bulletproof gears, development of sketch maps of key installations and facilities of the State to be attacked during the takeover”.
The facts sheet further indicates that “they (the accused persons) also discussed the procurement of electronic jamming devices and vehicles that would enable them take over the National Communications Authority (NCA) and jam all radio stations with the exception of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). Further discussions by the 1st accused, 2nd, 3rd and a witness in this case bordered on how to capture the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of Parliament, the CDS and the Chief of Staff, and the plan to force the president to announce his overthrow once he was captured”.
“Again, there were discussions also on whether or not to kill the President in the process of overthrowing the government. To facilitate their communication in the grand scheme of overthrowing the government, the 3rd accused supplied some members of the group including the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th accused persons with mobile phones… The 4th accused being a staff of the Signal unit of the Armed Forces and with the knowledge of various communication, gadgets were recruited by the 5th accused to support and aid the 1st accused to procure communication and the jamming equipment for the overthrow plot. The 5th accused who was regularly meeting with the 1st and 4th accused at the Citadel hospital in one such meeting advised the 1st accused person to be careful about where they meet the soldiers in order to avoid being found out”.
“In furtherance of the plot to overthrow the government, the 1st accused contacted and contracted the 2nd accused from Alavanyo to manufacture explosives and pistols. The 2nd accused brought to Accra his tools, machines and other materials required for the manufacturing of the weapons. The 1st accused then converted the X-ray laboratory of the Citadel Hospital into a manufacturing shop where the 2nd accused mounted his tools and machines to manufacture the weapons. Dissatisfied with the number of weapons manufactured 1st accused procured the services of one Gershon Akpa a weapons mechanic at the Base Workshop of the Armed Forces to procure AK47 assault rifles to augment his armoury. However, Gershon Akpa who was not convinced with the reasons for the procurement of the AK 47 assault rifle, returned the money to the 1st accused”.
“Investigations revealed that the 1st and 3rd accused persons were members of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) called Take Action Ghana (TAG). Investigations into the activities of TAG revealed that it was incorporated in August 2018. Further Investigations revealed that TAG’s mission statement was stated as being “an un-traditional civil revolutionary movement intending to galvanize and mobilize the masses in an unprecedented civil uprising that will force for a constitution to shut the current government including Parliament and the Executive branch at the Flagstaff House”.
The facts further note that “to advance this mission, the 3rd accused with the consent of the 1st accused created a WhatsApp platform to recruit members for the group. The 10th accused was invited by the 1st accused to join the group which he did. Investigations into the WhatsApp chats between the 1st and 10th accused persons revealed discussions on embarking on planned demonstrations in the form and likeness of the ‘Arab-Spring’ aimed at bringing down the government”.
“To facilitate the demonstrations, the 10th accused gave an amount of GHc 2000 to the 1st accused to support the course and also drafted a speech for the 1st accused to be read during the demonstration. On the 19th of September 2019 at about 23.00 hrs, the 1st and 2nd accused persons together with a witness, in this case, went to the Military Shooting Range general area at Teshie to test-fire the locally manufactured pistols. A military Patrol team on duty arrested the accused persons and the witness with the locally manufactured weapons and took them to the Southern Command Headquarters for questioning. In order not to compromise the surveillance, the accused persons and the witness were released on orders and allowed to go”.
“The prosecution sums up the facts by stating that” the 1st and 2nd accused persons sensing danger, returned to the citadel hospital where they manufactured the weapons and tried to conceal the weapons and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDS). Unfortunate for the accused persons, on the morning of the 20th September 2019, the military and other security agencies stormed the premises of the Hospital and arrested the 1st and 2nd accused persons and also retrieved the hidden weapons from a generator set and the IEDs from some car tyres on the premises.”
“A thorough search of the premises of the Hospital and the houses of the accused persons by the Police and the BNI revealed, the sketch maps, tools used in the manufacturing of the weapons and the IEDS, several rounds of ammunition, 3 Hand Smoke Grenades among others. The 1st and 2nd accused persons were arrested. Subsequently, the other accused persons were also arrested by the military and police authorities and handed over to the BNI”.