Some eight persons who are facing trial for an alleged coup plot have filed for variation of their bail conditions before an Accra High Court. This comes after the suspects were admitted to bail by the court in April this year.
So far, only two of the accused persons, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Agordzo and Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu, have been able to execute their bail conditions.
The eight others, Dr Mac Palm, Donyo Kafui, Colonel Kodzo Gameli, Johannes Zikpi, WO II Esther Saan, Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Corporal Ali Solomon, and Sylvester Akankpewu, have not been able to execute their bail conditions.
The court in April admitted the eight to a bail of GH¢2million, with two sureties each to be justified. But after almost a month, the accused persons are yet to be able to meet the bail conditions.
ACP Dr Agordzo and Col. Gameli, on the other hand, were admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢1 million with two sureties, one to be justified.
ACP Dr Agordzo and Col. Gameli are being held on the charge of abetment of high treason while the eight accused persons have been charged with high treason and conspiracy to commit high treason.
The accused persons have, however, denied the various charges.
During the court sitting yesterday, defence counsel for the eight indicated that an application for bail variation had been filed because the accused persons were unable to meet their bail conditions.
The court adjourned the hearing to June 1 to enable defence counsel to move their application for variation of bail.
The state, during a case management conference, filed its disclosures except for audios and videos.
It, however, filed a nolle prosequi (discontinuation of prosecution) in the case, and arraigned them on April 24, this year, on the charge of high treason. This saw three High Court judges sit over it at the High Court.
Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame, at the last sitting, told the court that the accused persons were part of a group known as Take Action Ghana (TAG), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), which is alleged to have planned to embark on demonstrations against the government and possibly take over governance.
The AG said as part of the plot, Dr Mac-Palm, who was accused of being the mastermind of the plot, along with Kafui and Ofosu, planned on kidnapping the President, the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief of Defence Staff and force the President to announce his overthrow.
The AG said a map found in the possession of the accused persons showed some important installations such as the Jubilee House, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Burma Camp, the 37 Military Hospital, and the National Police Training School, which had been their target.
In the case of ACP Dr Agordzo, the AG accused him of donating GH¢2,000 to TAG to aid its cause and also drafted a speech for Dr Mac-Palm to be read at TAG’s planned demonstration.
Ernest Thompson’s case
In another development, the Attorney-General’s Department is yet to refile witness statements in support of prosecution against former Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Ernest Thompson, and four others. The five are facing trial for their involvement in a SSNIT $66 million Operational Business Suit (OBS) project scandal.
The four persons before an Accra High Court with Mr Thompson are former SSNIT IT Manager, John Hagan Mensah; Perfect Business Systems Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Juliet Hassana Kramer; former SSNIT Head of Management Information Systems (MIS), Caleb Kwaku Afaglo and ex-SSNIT lawyer Peter Hayibor.
They have pleaded not guilty to 29 charges, including various counts of conspiracy to wilfully cause financial loss to the State and wilfully causing financial loss to the State to the tune of $15.3 million.