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Expedite investigations into Western Togoland case — Magistrate

BY: Justice Agbenorsi

A magistrate of the Kaneshie District Court has urged the prosecution handling the case involving the 22 people who are alleged to have participated in secessionist activities supposedly intended to break away parts of the Volta Region from Ghana to expedite investigations into the matter for committal proceedings to commence.

The presiding magistrate, Ms Ama Adomako Kwakye, has also advised counsel in the case to seek bail application at the appropriate forum, as her court had no jurisdiction to grant bail to the accused persons.

She said it was the trial court that had jurisdiction to grant bail.

Accused persons

The 22 accused who appeared before the court last Monday included a suspected fake lawyer who was nabbed for representing some of the secessionists in court.

Others are Nene Kwaku Agblorm II, aka Joshua Tawiah Agbolorm; Abednego Dzereke Mawuena, Emmanuel Hayford Afedo, Richard Doglo Ametepe, Benjamin Kplivi, Samuel Wor, Charles Elo, Richard Kwasi Norgbordzi, Stephen Kpexor and Ebenezer Nyaletasi.

The rest are Cephas Zodanu, Moses Gadago, Ernest Dzitor, Vincent Amaglo Gakpetor, Atigah Dziwornu, aka Adonis; Godwin Adzowu, Samuel Yoa Fiagbedzi, Samuel Atsu Gagbetor, Joseph Nyamewu, Afetorgbe Kpogo and Dennis Seyram Benson.

They are standing trial on charges of conspiracy to commit crime, namely, treason felony; conspiracy to commit crime, namely, causing damage, and causing unlawful damage.

Bail application

In his bail application, counsel for the suspected fake lawyer, Mr Rexford Nii Nortey Lokko, argued that his client was arrested for a separate offence, hence adding his name to the group and keeping him in custody was a deliberate attempt by the prosecution to punish his client.

“Having kept the suspect in custody since his arrest, solely on the basis of investigations, is an infringement of the fundamental human rights of my client,” he argued.

Bail opposed

The prosecutor, Sergeant Richard Amoah, who held brief for the substantive prosecutor, opposed the bail and urged the court to remand the accused person to enable the police to continue with investigations.

“Systematic processes are being employed to ensure that innocent people are not wrongfully charged. We will not conduct hasty investigations to make hasty conclusions,” he added.

Sgt Amoah further told the court that the prosecution was working assiduously to conclude its investigations and forward same to the Attorney-General’s Department for advice.

The magistrate, after remanding the accused person, adjourned the case to January 27, 2021.

Facts

The facts, as narrated by the Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare, are that the suspects were members of a prohibited organisation, the so-called Western Togoland Foundation, and related organisations.

He said on September 25, this year, the suspects agreed, with a common purpose, to secede from the Republic of Ghana and attacked the Aveyime and the Mepe Police stations in the Volta Region.

The prosecutor said the suspects overpowered the officers at the stations, broke into their armouries and made away with 17 AK-47 assault rifles, five pump action guns, one shotgun, two Mack three guns, three SMG rifles, 11 rubber bullets, 25 rounds of 37-mm tear gas cartridges and 300 rounds of AK-47 ammunition.

ASP Asare added that the accused also drove away the patrol vehicle at the Aveyime Police Station.

He said the accused and others at large also broke into the rooms of the police at Aveyime and made away with television sets, sound systems, money and police accoutrement.

He said on October 19, this year, police investigations led to the arrest of the suspects and the retrieval of some items stolen from Aveyime and Mepe, including those listed above.