Coup Plotters Bought Guns Firing At Teshie Range

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.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak

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