Acp Benjamin Agordzo 3

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr. Benjamin Kwasi Agordzo and eight others who are standing trial for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government will know their fate as they face judgement today, January 24, 2024. A three-member panel of the High Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal will pass their judgement after the conclusion of evidence.

Today’s judgment date was fixed two months ago on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, after the parties had all filed their respective written submissions. Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, the Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Hospital (now deceased) and ACP Dr Agordzo together with eight others were charged variously on April 24, 2021, for conspiracy to high treason, abetment to high treason and high treason.

Dr Mac Palm (A1- now Deceased), Donya Kafui alias Ezor (A2), Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu alias Bright Alan Yeboah (A3), Yohannes Zikpi (A4), Warrant Officer Class Two Esther Saan Dekuwine (A6), Cpl Seidu Abubakar (A7), Lance Corporal Ali Solomon (A8) and Cpl Sylvester Akanpewon (A9) were charged for conspiracy to commit high and high treason.

While Col. Samuel Kodzo Gameli (A5) and ACP Dr Benjamin Agordzo (A10) have each been charged for an abutment. All 10 accused (then) pleaded not guilty and have been granted bail while standing trial. However, following the death of Dr Mac-Palm (A1) who was then in the witness box giving testimony, his evidence was expunged from the records after his passing away was confirmed to the Court.

AG’s team

From the Attorney General’s (AG) Department, the AG Godfred Yeboah Dame led prosecution also included Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecution, Hilda Craig, a Principal State Attorney (PSA) Winifred Sarpong, PSA, Ms. Lawrencia Adika, State Attorney and Akosua Agyapomaa Agyemang, Assistant State Attorney among others.

Defence lawyers

For the Defence, Ms. Rita Akukunti Ali, a lawyer from Legal Aid with Osei Kwabena and Linda Elikem Mensah represents Bright Allan Debrah Fosu, the third accused. Lawyer Victor Kodjogah Adawudu represents
Donya Kafui alias Ezor, (A2), CPL Seidu Abubakar, (A7), LAC Ali Solomon, (A8) and CPL Sylvester Akanpewon (A9).

Lawyer Anthony Lartey and Eric Kpongo are lawyers for Col. Samuel Kodzo Gamelie, the fourth accused. Lamptiig Apanga leads Matthias Yir-Eru as lawyers for Esther Saan Dekuwine, the sixth accused. Lawyer Kormivi Dzotsi, being led by Martin Kpebu, represents ACP Benjamin Agordzo, the 10th Accused.

Lawyer Ephraim A. Vordoagu and Lawyer Maud Opoku were those representing Dr Mac-Palm until his demise. They were discharged after the Court was informed officially of their client’s passing.

Court panel

The three-member panel of judges are Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, Justice Hafisata Amaleboba and Justice Stephen Oppong, all three are Justices of the Court of Appeal sitting as additional High Court judges. Justice Asare-Botwe is the President of the panel.

State witnesses

When the trial eventually started, State Prosecutors handling the case involving the alleged Coup trial closed their case after parading 13 witnesses including seven soldiers. The seven soldiers among the 13 witnesses included Col. Isaac Amponsah, Director, and Operational Intelligence at the Defence Intelligence Unit of the Ghana Armed Forces (First Prosecution Witness).

On July 12, 2022, Prosecution closed it case after calling 13 witnesses in the trial which started on June 8, 2021. EIB Network’s Court Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, compiled the witnesses the State paraded in the order of which they appeared before the three-member panel of the High Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe to give evidence.

  1. First Prosecution Witness (PW1): Col. Isaac Amponsah (Director, Operational Intelligence at the Defence Intelligence (DI) Unit of the Ghana Armed Forces.
  2. PW2: Major-General Nicholas Peter Andoh (Currently the Chief of Staff at the General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces and at the material time of the alleged occurrences in this case the Director General of Defence Intelligence of the Ghana Armed Forces;
  3. PW3: Staff Sgt. Awarf Kwadwo Sule (A soldier who says he participated in meetings and other events in this matter);
  4. PW4: Sgt. Henry Kow Ghartey (A soldier stationed at the One Signal Regiment, the Communication Unit of the Ghana Armed Forces at Burma Camp);
  5. PW5: Staff Sgt. Jonas Yeankye Kofi Nantonah (A soldier stationed at the Training Unit of the General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces);
  6. PW6: Isaac Osei of the Ghana Institute of Languages who testified as having been in charge of the team which transcribed the speeches on the audios and videos tendered in evidence;
  7. PW7, ASP Richard Anaty, a firearms examiner of the Forensic Science Laboratory of the CID Headquarters;
  8. PW8: Col. Gaspard Kwaning Asare who testified that at the material time, he was Senior Ammunition Technical Officer for the Ghana Armed Forces;
  9. PW9: Eric Karikari Boateng, a Pharmacist and the Director, the Centre for Laboratory Services and Research with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA);
  10. PW10: Francis Aboagye, an Officer with the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) (formerly the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) who testified that he was part of the team that investigated this case;
  11. PW11: Cabral Mohammed Ayambillah, a Cyber Security and Digital Forensic Officer with the NIB who testified that he examined the devices (mobile phones) that were seized from relevant persons in this matter.
  12. PW12: Cpl. Godwin Nii Korankye Ankrah also a soldier who testified that he also participated in a meeting with some of the accused persons;
  13. PW13: D/C/Inspector Michael Nkrumah, also an Officer with the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) (formerly the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) who testified that he was also part of the team that investigated this case.

Background

On April 24, 2021, the AG while narrating the brief facts to the court said, Dr Mac-Palm and his colleagues belonged to an association called Take Action Ghana (TAG) and had planned to stage demonstrations, ostensibly to topple the government. He said in July 2019, the accused contacted a blacksmith from Alavanyo, in the Volta Region, to manufacture 22 explosives, six ammunition and five pistols.

The court heard that the manufacturer charged alleged accomplices GH¢2,300 as the cost of each pistol and GH¢400.00 for each explosive.

He said on September 19, Dr Mac-Palm and Kafui were arrested after test firing at the Teshie Military shooting range.

The AG told the court that a search conducted in the premises of the Citadel Hospital revealed six unregistered pistols, one registered pistol, 22 explosives, three grenades, 63 rounds of ammunition, two empty AK47 magazines and other machines used in manufacturing weapons.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Murtala Inusah

 

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