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12.11.2019 General News

Coup Plotters Bought Guns And Firing At Teshie Range

By News Desk
Coup Plotters Bought Guns And Firing At Teshie Range
NOV 12, 2019 GENERAL NEWS

Some of the persons arrested in the alleged coup plot have admitted that they procured guns. However, they are claiming that the guns were for their personal protection.

Details are emerging about how the accused persons, who are members of a non-governmental organisation, Take Action Ghana (TAG), procured the firearms and hired the services of one of their members, Kafui Donya, a blacksmith from Alavanyo in the Volta Region, to have them repaired.

Tacit Admission

Lawyer for seven of the accused persons, Victor Kodjoga Adawudu, in his attempts to secure bail for them ended up admitting to what the prosecution had always said about the accused persons being arrested with guns and ammunition.

The lawyer had previously maintained that his clients were innocent and that the prosecution kept making allegations without putting what he described as “watertight evidence” before the court.

However, appearing before an Accra High Court yesterday, Mr. Adawudu did not only admit that the accused persons procured guns, but also told the court that they had gone to the Teshie Military Shooting Range to test the weapons.

Coup Plot

Ten persons are currently before a Kaneshie District Court, Accra, in connection with the alleged plot to overthrow the government and take over the running of the country.

Among the accused person are a senior military officer, a Commissioner of Police (COP), junior rank military officers, as well as some civilians. They have been charged with treason felony, conspiracy to commit treason felony, as well as abetment of treason felony.

Main Actors

The civilians are Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, the proprietor of Citadel Hospital at Alajo, Accra, believed to be the mastermind behind the coup plot; Donya Kafui, aka Ezor, a local weapon manufacturer (blacksmith), and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu, aka BB or ADC.

The soldiers arrested in connection with the alleged plot included a senior officer, Col. Samuel Kojo Gameli, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akapewu, Lance Corporal Seidu Abubakar and one WO II Esther Saan, aka Mama Gee, of the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS) and also a civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Force, Gershon Akpa, while the senior police officer picked up and detained is ACP/Dr. Benjamin Agordzo.

TAG Movement

Mr. Adawudu in his application for bail for his clients told the court that TAG is an NGO registered by Dr. Mac-Palm which he uses for medical outreach programmes.

He said the group's membership included military officers, police officers, lawyers, drivers and 'all kinds of people'.

He told the court that as part of plans to raise funds for the group's activities, they also had a social media platform where issues of national interest were discussed.

Supposed Attack

Mr. Adawudu claimed that members of the groups while on one of their outreaches at Damango in the West Gonja District of the Savannah Region were attacked by a group of people and had to be saved by the police.

He said discussions after the attack led to one Sulley whom he says is a military officer suggesting that they procure guns and register them for their protection.

The lawyer told the court that it was on the basis of this that the group invited Donya Kafui, a blacksmith, “to be repairing the guns.”

According to him, the said Sulley had been going to Kafui Donya in the Volta Region for gun repairs for a long time.

Testing Guns

Mr. Adawudu told the court that it was after Donya had finished repairing the guns that the said Sulley advised that they test the guns, and they went to the Teshie Military Shooting Range to test the guns.

The court heard that while at the shooting range, both Sulley and Donya fired the guns which attracted military officers and they were subsequently arrested.

Destabilization Plot

Mr. Adawudu further told the court presided over by Justice George Buadi that the accused persons were not engaged in any plot to destabilize the country or overthrow the government but were only arrested because some of them are classmates from school days and others are childhood friends.

He insisted that there was no evidence before the court to show that the accused person were involved in any plot to overthrow the government aside from the mere allegations by the prosecution.

He assured the court that his clients were not 'flight risk' and would appear for the trial when granted bail.

Opposition

The prosecution led by Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney, opposed the application saying it was premature to ask for bail.

According to her, the charges against the accused persons were serious ones which could lead to life imprisonment or even death penalty when found guilty hence they would not appear for the trial when granted bail.

She added that some of the accused persons were military officers who could interfere with witnesses and investigations since some of the witnesses are military personnel.

Court Ruling

Justice Buadi in his ruling held that the accused persons had been detained for less than two months and that could not constitute unreasonable delays in the trial.

Speedy Investigations

Meanwhile, the Kaneshie Court, presided over by Magistrate Eleanor Kakra Barnes-Botchway, has advised the prosecution to speed up their investigations into the matter to enable committal proceedings to commence.

---Daily Guide

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