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Six coup plotters sentenced to death; ACP Agordzo, two others acquitted

The High Court has convicted six of the alleged coup plotters for counts of conspiracy to commit high treason and committing high treason.

The Court has, however, acquitted Assistant Commissioner of Police Benjamin Agordzo, Colonel Gameli and one other junior military officer, Corporal Seidu Abubakar.

The six convicted for plotting a coup have been sentenced to death by hanging.

Wednesday’s judgment date was fixed on November 22, 2023, after the parties had all filed their respective written submissions.

Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, the Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Hospital (now deceased) and ACP Dr. Agordzo together with eight others were charged variously on April 24, 2021, for conspiracy to high treason, abetment to high treason and high treason.

Dr Mac Palm (A1- now Deceased), Donya Kafui alias Ezor (A2), Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu alias Bright Alan Yeboah (A3), Yohannes Zikpi (A4), Warrant Officer Class Two Esther Saan Dekuwine (A6), Cpl Seidu Abubakar (A7), Lance Corporal Ali Solomon (A8) and Cpl Sylvester Akanpewon (A9) were charged for conspiracy to commit high and high treason.

Col. Samuel Kodzo Gameli (A5) and ACP Dr Benjamin Agordzo (A10) have each been charged for abetment.

All 10 accused (then) pleaded not guilty and have been granted bail while standing trial.

However, following the death of Dr Mac-Palm (A1) who was then in the witness box giving testimony, his evidence was deleted from the records after his passing away was confirmed to the Court.

AG’s team

From the Attorney General’s (AG) Department, the AG Godfred Yeboah Dame led prosecution also included Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecution, Hilda Craig, a Principal State Attorney (PSA) Winifred Sarpong, PSA, Ms. Lawrencia Adika, State Attorney and Akosua Agyapomaa Agyemang, Assistant State Attorney among others.

Defence lawyers

For the Defence, Ms. Rita Akukunti Ali, a lawyer from Legal Aid with Osei Kwabena and Linda Elikem Mensah represented Bright Allan Debrah Fosu, the third accused.

Lawyer Victor Kodjogah Adawudu represented Donya Kafui alias Ezor, (A2), CPL Seidu Abubakar, (A7), LAC Ali Solomon, (A8) and CPL Sylvester Akanpewon (A9) while Lawyer Anthony Lartey and Eric Kpongo are lawyers for Col. Samuel Kodzo Gamelie, the fourth accused.

Lamptiig Apanga leads Matthias Yir-Eru as lawyers for Esther Saan Dekuwine, the sixth accused. Lawyer Kormivi Dzotsi, being led by Martin Kpebu, represents ACP Benjamin Agordzo, the 10th Accused while Lawyer Ephraim A. Vordoagu and Lawyer Maud Opoku were those representing Dr Mac-Palm until his demise. They were discharged after the Court was informed officially of their client’s passing.

Court panel

The three-member panel of judges are Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, Justice Hafisata Amaleboba and Justice Stephen Oppong, all three are Justices of the Court of Appeal sitting as additional High Court judges.

Justice Asare-Botwe is the President of the panel.

State witnesses

When the trial eventually started, State Prosecutors handling the case involving the alleged Coup trial closed their case after parading 13 witnesses including seven soldiers.

The seven soldiers among the 13 witnesses included Col. Isaac Amponsah, Director, and Operational Intelligence at the Defence Intelligence Unit of the Ghana Armed Forces (First Prosecution Witness).

On July 12, 2022, the Prosecution closed its case after calling 13 witnesses in the trial which started on June 8, 2021.

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