Three persons picked up by state security agencies on suspicion of engaging in “an elaborate plot targeted at the Presidency,” have been slapped with five charges.
They include conspiracy to manufacture arms and ammunition without lawful authority and possession of explosives and firearms without lawful excuse.
Their pleas were not taken by the court.
They are Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, Dornyah “Ezor” Kafui, a local weapon manufacturer and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu aka BB or ADC, freight manager.
Government in a statement released on Monday said a joint security operation on Friday led to the retrieval of several arms, explosive devices and ammunition from locations in Accra and Kpone-Bawaleshie in Dodowa.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah later revealed that some serving military personnel have also been picked up in relation to the same operation.
ASP Sylvestre Asare asked that the accused persons be remanded into police custody to enable investigations to continue. He pleaded that they are specifically remanded into BNI custody since the institution is the lead investigative body. He assured the court the accused persons will be allowed to see their families and their lawyers.
Lawyers for the 3 however opposed the application. A member of their legal team, Victor Adawudu questioned why the plea of his clients could not be taken since it appears the state had investigated the matter and decided to charge them. He also said it is the court that has the power to determine whether to keep them in custody or not. He insisted the accused persons are presumed innocent till proven guilty.
ASP Asare responded that prosecution is confused as to the position of the defence legal team. He said investigations had not been concluded that’s why they don’t want their plea to be taken.
The Magistrate hearing the case Rosemond Dodua Agyiri said that the plea ought not be taken because some of the charges were beyond her jurisdiction. She said she understood the need to investigate the matter but adviced prosecution to consider the charges closely by the next court date.
On the subject of bail, she relied on same reason to decline the request and rather remanded them into BNI custody. The case has been adjourned to October 9, 2019.
A fourth suspect named only as Sulley is meanwhile said to be on the run.