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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Alleged Coup plotters’ fate hangs

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An Accra High Court has set July 25, 2022 to determine whether the Office of the Attorney General has made enough case against the 10 persons standing trial for allegedly planning to overthrow the government in a coup, to warrant them to open their defence.

This was after the prosecution led by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, informed the court that they had closed their case after their 14th and last witness, Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, who was discharged following conclusion of cross-examination by defence lawyers.

The three-member panel of the court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe and assisted by Justices Hafisata Amaleboba and Stephen Oppong, indicated that the outcome of their decision will determine whether or not any of the accused persons would be ordered to open their defence, which will ultimately inform a case management conference.

The court said the defence lawyers as well as the prosecution may file submissions if they intend to do so by July 12, adding that the court will not bother to read any submissions filed beyond July 12.

The 10, made up of civilians, a senior military officer, a senior police officer and some soldiers are before the court on charges of high treason and abetment of high treason for allegedly plotting to overthrow a democratically elected government.

They are Dr. Frederick Yao MacPalm, proprietor of the Citadel Hospital at Alajo in Accra who is suspected to be the mastermind of the plot; Donya Kafui aka Ezor, a local weapon manufacturer; Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu aka Bright Alan Yeboah or BB, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon, Lance Corporal Seidu Abubakar and WO II Esther Saan Dekuwine aka Mama Gee.

The rest are Johannes Zikpi, a civilian employee with the Ghana Armed Forces, ACP Dr. Benjamin Agordzo of the Ghana Police Service and Col. Samuel Kojo Gameli of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The prosecution during the trial called 14 witnesses, including undercover operatives who were able to infiltrate a WhatsApp group created by the accused persons where they allegedly planed the coup, as well as meetings attended by some of the accused persons where the alleged coup plot was discussed.

The prosecution also tendered the guns, the improvised explosive devices (IEDs), bullets, an anvil and other equipment confiscated at the X-Ray department of the Citadel Hospital owned and operated by Dr. Fredrick MacPalm.

One of the prosecution’s witnesses, Deputy Staff Officer (DSO) Frank Aboagye, during his testimony also told the court that Dr. MacPalm was habouring the desire to become president upon the overthrow of government.

The court also heard audio tapes of the meetings attended by some of the accused persons, and WOII Esther Saan, the only female among the accused persons, was heard on the tape saying President Nana Akufo-Addo must be eliminated when captured on the day of the coup.

A prosecution witness also told the court that the accused intended to use Take Action Ghana, a non-profitable organisation for charitable works, to garner support and later register it as a political party to contest in an election after the coup had been carried out.

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