Papavi ‘Rebels’ Cagged
Some 21 persons arrested in the Volta Region at the military training ground of secessionist group, Homeland Study Group Foundation, were yesterday remanded by an Accra Circuit Court.
The accused persons comprising 20 males and a female were arrested on Monday dawn by a combined team of officers of the Ghana Army, as well as police officers, in a 2 a.m. dawn raid on the training ground.
They are said to have been recruited by the secessionist group led by 80-year-old Charles Kokuvi Kudzordj (aka Papavi) into what they call the Guerilla Army, and were undergoing training when they were arrested.
The 21 accused are facing two counts of participating in the campaign of a prohibited organisation and also attending meeting of a prohibited organisation.
Their plea was not taken as Chief Inspector Simon Apiorsornu who represented the prosecution said they were still investigating the matter and wanted them to be remanded for them to conclude the investigations.
The suspects are Justine Abotsi Kpuia, pupil teacher; Joshua Lawoe, motor rider; Patrick Doe-Dzogbeta, repairer; Solomon Normeshie, unemployed; Moses Dakpenese, driver; Raymond Amemo, glass works; Justice Kumahor, steel bender; Christian Agbeko, unemployed; Emmanuel Tannor, salesman; William Ahiamadi, electrician and Michael Dakpenese, motor rider.
The rest are Enos Agbanyo, mason; Francis Sakyi, mason; Kwami Asorgna, unemployed; Divine Bedzrah, unemployed; Samuel Key Suglo, fisher; Vincent Abotsi, fisher; Anthony Dormekpo, driver; Kofi Atsu, teacher; Etse Borlor, mason and Julius Sah, lotto agent.
The fact presented by Chief Inspector Apiorsornu said on February 17, 2020, personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces following several days of intelligence gathering on the activities of the Western Togoland secessionist group, a prohibited organisation, arrested the accused persons who have been recruited into the army wing of the secessionist group at Dzodze in the Ketu North Municipality of the Volta Region.
He said the accused persons bought recruitment forms and paid between GH¢400 and GH¢800 as registration fees through a Mobile Money number registered in the name of one Samuel GAFA who is on the run.
He told the court that the accused persons were made to assemble at Dzodze and they were transported on motorbikes and vehicles to the training camp of the secessionist group – Guerilla Army – to commence training.
Chief Inspector Apiorsornu further stated that the accused persons were then briefed about the activities of the secessionist group by one Togbe, aka Spider.
He said state security agencies had intelligence about the training of the accused persons and the military on February 17. They, therefore, conducted a raid at the camp and the accused persons were arrested while their instructors and other trainees managed to escape.
The prosecution had pleaded with the court not to take the plea of the accused persons as they were still investigating the matter.
However, George Asameni opposed the move and said the law provides that an accused person once charged and put before the court must plead to the offence.
The court presided over by Ellen Offei Aryeh initially said the plea of the accused persons must be taken but after realising some defects with the charges decided not to take the pleas.
She subsequently remanded them to re-appear on March 4, 2020 and urged the prosecution to take another look at the charges, adding that the plea of the accused persons would be taken when they re-appear.