Court remands Separatists in the Volta Region

Accra� An Accra Circuit Court on Friday remanded into Police custody 21 persons including a woman, alleged to have been recruited into the so-called Military Wing of the Western Togoland Secessionists Group at Dodze, Volta Region.

Charged with two counts of participating in a campaign of a prohibited organisation, namely Western Togoland, and attending a meeting of a prohibited organisation, the court however reserved their plea.

The accused are expected to reappear on March 4, before the court presided over by Mrs Ellen Ofei Ayeh.

The accused included Justine Abotsi, a Pupil Teacher; Joshua Lawoe, Motor rider; Patrick Doe-Dzogbeta, Repairer; Solomon Normeshie, unemployed; Moses Dakpenese, Driver; Raymond Amemo, Glass Fabricator; Justice Kumasbor, Steel Bender; Christian Agbeko, unemployed; Emmanuel Tannor, Salesman; and William Ahiamadi an Electrician.

The rest are: Michael Dakpense, motor rider; Enos Agbanyo, Mason; Francis Sakyi, Masion; Kwame Asorgba, unemployed; Devine Bedzrah, unemployed; Samuel Kay Suglo; and Vincent Abosti, fishermen; Anthony Dormekpo, driver; Kofi Atsu, Teacher; Estse Borbor, Mason; and Julius Sah a Lotto Agent.

The court ruled that for the interest of justice, it would preserve the plea of the accused and urged the prosecution to take a second look at the sections of the law under which the accused have been charged.

Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Simon Apoisornu prayed the court not to take the pleas of the accused because investigations were ongoing and it was likely the charges might be substituted by the next adjourned date.

Chief Inspector Apoisornu said the matter borders on national security and the prosecution would prefer that the accused were kept at the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) so that they can have access to their lawyers as well as relations.

According to prosecution it was going to be difficult to keep them in the custody of the Police looking at their numbers.

Counsel Mr. George Asamaney and Mr. Yaw Dankwah represented all the accused.

Mr. Asamaney in his submission prayed the court to allow the accused to plead to the various charges since that was mandatory under the law.

According to him the accused ought to have access to their counsel so that they can take proper instructions from them.

He therefore prayed the court to remand them into Police custody instead of that of the BNI.

According to counsel, when an accused is remanded into BNI custody, it becomes difficult for the lawyers and relations to have access to them.

The facts presented by prosecution was that the accused reside at various places in the country.

Prosecution said on Monday February 17, this year, personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) following several days of intelligence gathering on the activities of the Western Togoland Secessionists group, a prohibited organization, arrested the accused.

Prosecution said they arrested the 21 persons including a female at Dodze in the Ketu North Municipality of the Volta Region who have been recruited into the Military Wing of the Western Togoland secessionists group.

According to prosecution, the accused bought recruitment forms and paid between GH 400.00 and GH 800.00 as registration fees through a mobile money (MOMO) number in the name of Samuel Gafa currently on the run.

The Prosecution said the accused were made to assemble at Dodze and were transported on motor bikes and vehicles to a training camp of the Western Togoland Gorilla Army to commence training.

Prosecution said the accused were briefed by one Togbe aka Spider of the activities of the Western Togoland Secessionists’ Group.

He said state security agencies had intelligence about the training of the accused as guerilla fighters.

The prosecution said the Military on the dawn of February 17, this year, conducted a raid at the camp and the accused were arrested whiles their instructors and other trainees managed to escape.

Source: Ghana News Agency