General News of Thursday, 20 July 2017
A Ho High Court has bonded three members of the Home Study Group Foundation (HSGF) for a period of six months with two sureties to be of good behaviour.
The three, who are standing trial on charges of conspiracy to commit treason and treason felony have also been discharged of the charges levelled against them.
The three – Charles Kormi Kudjordjie, Divine Odonkor and Martin Asiana Agbenu, were arrested on March 6, 2017 after their declaration at a press conference that they would hold a forum on May 9, 2017 to declare the independence of Western Togoland which covers the Volta region and portions of the Northern and Upper East regions.
Ex parte motion
In a ex parte motion with supporting affidavit, Chief State Attorney of the Volta region, Mr Simon Adatsi stated that the activities of HSGF was a threat and could cause a civil unrest in the region.
He said their intention was a constitutional breach and also constituted a secessionist move and was likely to incite riotous behaviour since the trial which started in March this year, and adjourned on eight occasions, had attracted a large number of people to the court causing a heavy presence of law enforcement agencies.
Mr Adatsi therefore prayed the court that the accused persons be made to sign a bond of good behaviour for a period to be determined by the court.
Reaction of counsels
However, one of the counsel of the accused persons, Mr Emil Atsu Agbakpey said the decision of the Attorney General to drop the charges was “anti-clockwise”, adding that “empty” allegations were made against the accused persons on charges which never existed.
He said many people had thronged the court because they were interested in justice and prayed that the accused persons be outrightly discharged.
The presiding judge, Mr Justice Agbevor advised that people who wanted to pursue such acts should recourse to United Nations regulations than to take a step which was tantamount to violating the constitution of the country and was treasonable.
That, he said, could be more legitimate and acceptable adding that he had to discharge them on the charges and bond them, explaining that the bond did not amount to conviction but only to caution them to conduct their affairs in a legally accepted manner.