The Accra High Court has varied the bail conditions for one of the 10 persons accused of plotting to overthrow the government and destabilise the country.
Johannes Zikpi, a civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), who was previously on bail in the sum of GH¢2 million with two sureties, both to be justified, will now be on bail in the sum of GH¢1million, with two sureties, both to be justified.
The three-member panel of the court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwaah Asare–Botwe, varied the bail conditions for Zikpi following an application by his lawyers.
Counsel for the Zipki, Mr Anthony Lartey, said his client had been unable to meet the conditions since he was granted bail more than five months ago, and, therefore, prayed the court to vary the conditions.
“Our humble prayer is that the bail conditions be reduced from GH¢2 million with two sureties, all to be justified to, GH¢1 million with two sureties, one to be justified,” he said.
The Attorney –General (A-G), Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, opposed the application and argued the initial bail was commensurate with the offence of treason.
Mr Dame prayed the court that in the event it decided to vary the bail conditions, the court could reduce the bail sum, but maintain the number of sureties to be justified.
The court agreed with the A-G and accordingly varied the bail sum, maintaining the sureties to be justified.
The 10 accused persons are alleged to be part of Take Action Ghana (TAG), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), which the prosecution argues had been planning to destabilise the country and take over the reins of government.
They are Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Dr Benjamin Agordzo, Colonel Samuel Kodzo Gameli and Dr Frederick Mac-Palm, the Director of the Citadel Hospital in Accra.
The others are Donya Kafui, a blacksmith; Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu, a fleet manager.
The rest — Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon and Warrant Officer II Esther Saan Dekuwine — are all soldiers.
ACP Dr Agordzo and Col. Gameli have pleaded not guilty to abetment of high treason, while the rest have pleaded not guilty to high treason and conspiracy to commit high treason.
It is the case of the prosecution that the accused persons used TAG as a platform to mobilise in order to destabilise the country and overthrow the government.
It said as part of the plot, Dr Mac-Palm, who is accused of being the mastermind, along with Kafui and Debrah, had planned kidnapping the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament and the Chief of the Defence Staff and force the President to announce his overthrow.
“Again, there were discussions on whether or not to kill the President in the process of overthrowing the government,” the prosecution said.
With regard to ACP Agordzo, the prosecution said he joined a WhatsApp platform of TAG created by Dr Mac-Palm, where the group discussed a planned demonstration which was likened to the ‘Arab Spring’.
The prosecution said ACP Agordzo donated GH¢2,000 to TAG to aid its cause and also drafted a speech for Dr Mac-Palm to be read at the planned demonstration by TAG.
In a related development, the court has refused a request by a lawyer to adjourn the trial for two weeks.
Mr Victor Kojoga Adawudu, who is lawyer for four of the 10 accused persons, sent a letter to the court pleading for the trial to be adjourned for two weeks to enable him attend to a medical checkup.
The court, however, rejected counsel’s request, describing it as unreasonable.
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