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Court discharges 22 alleged secessionists

BY: Justice Agbenorsi

An Accra Circuit Court has discharged 22 persons alleged to have participated in secessionist activities supposedly intended to break away parts of the Volta Region from Ghana.

The 22 were originally part of a group of 51 who were charged with conspiracy, treason felony, among others, for being part of the Western Togoland Organisation and other groups that had sought to form Western Togoland as a separate country.

They were discharged after the prosecution presented a new charge sheet that excluded their names in a new list containing just 29 accused persons.

The prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare, told the court that following investigations, the prosecution had dropped charges against the 22.

The court, presided over by Ms Rosemond Baah, consequently discharged them.

Accused persons

The 29 accused persons facing trial are Nene Kwaku Agblorm ll, Ernest Kpevu, Devine Seddoh, Bright Klutsey, Selasi Gbadago, Gilbert Nyadzino, Benjamin Gabadago, Felix Sosa, Lawrence Nyadzinor, Excel Liberty Aheto Luegbesika, Divine Nyadzinor, Godwin Awudza, William Amenor, Agbemenya Dotse, Louise Nyadzinor, Mawulolo Ahorble, and Fiave Joeffery.

Others are George Akweti, Noah Ahiatorgah, Samuel Gbolomo, Raphael Tettevi, James Nanewortor, Abednego Dzreke Mawuena, Emmanuel Hayford Afedo, Isaac Kwesi Afeku, Richard Adria, Prosper Avumenyi, John Korbla Gbedena and Stephen Asime.

They have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime, participating in the campaign of a prohibited organisation, treason felony, causing unlawful damage and rioting with weapons.

Their pleas were not taken and they were remanded to reappear on November 18, 2020.

Facts

The facts as presented by ASP Asare were that the suspects were members of a prohibited organisation, namely Western Togoland Foundation and related organisations.

He said the core objective of both groups was to separate a section of the easternmost part of the entire country, said to have been described by them as Western Togoland, and then usurp the executive powers of Ghana.

The prosecutor said the group had its stronghold in the Volta Region, with pockets of followers across the towns, namely Osuwem, Juapong, Volo, Mamfe, Bator, Mepe, Aveyime, Ho, among others.

Somewhere in September, ASP Asare said a collective decision was made by the executive and members of Western Togoland at Afife to organise and riot and block the two major roads at Juapong and also attack drivers at the State Transport Corporation terminal at Ho and rob them of their buses.

He said at about 1 a.m. on September 25, 2020, the members of the group, dressed in Western Togoland T-shirts and armed with offensive weapons, including guns, machetes, among others, blocked the Juapong- Akuse road at Abotoase junction and Juapong-Accra road at Akrade near the Customs check point.