By Anna Claudia Duker
An Accra High Court has dismissed a bail application by the seven accused persons facing trial for their alleged plot to attack the presidency and destabilize the country.
According to the Judge, Justice George Buadi, none of the accused persons had been detained beyond two months and their arrest and detention are not arbitrary or unlawful.
He added that the accused persons have the capacity to interfere with investigations if released, as they are security personnel.
The Judge further cited an example of how Junior Officers some years passed managed to stage a coup in the country.
Victor Adawudu, lawyer for the accused persons prayed the court to grant his clients bail as, investigations into the case have taken a while and believed his clients, who had rejected allegations levelled against them, should be released to have their freedom while the investigations and trial take place.
He insisted they were not engaged in any plot to overthrow the government but have simply been arrested because some of them are classmates from school days and others are childhood friends.
The lawyer insisted nothing has been put forward by the state to show that they were engaged in any such plot.
While pledging to ensure his clients show up in court to stand trial he insisted a grant of bail is only fair since the state is not ready to commence the committal process.
According to Victor Adawudu, his clients bought the guns to protect members of a group called Take Action Ghana and not to stage a coup, as maintained by the state prosecutors.
The defence counsel told the court, that members of the group were attacked during an outreach program in the northern part of the country some time ago hence the decision to possess guns.
The leaders of the group, therefore, bought and registered the guns on the advice of a serving soldier Mr Adawudu identified only as “Sulley” who is not standing trial, Mr Adawudu explained.
Senior State Attorney, Hilda Craig, opposed the application saying the state does not suspect them of plotting a coup but the state knows as a matter of fact that they agreed and plotted to overthrow the government.
Explaining why the suspects should be denied bail, she maintained that some of them are serving officers of the armed forces and could interfere with investigations since the state’s witnesses include soldiers.
She told the court that the state does not trust that they will show up in court to stand trial if granted bail.
“The activities of these persons do not show that they are NGO’s who needed weapons. Why not contact the police if they had concerns” she said.
“As far as we are concerned, they had one intention, to overthrow the state. The state has overwhelming evidence and will provide it at the right time,” she said.
The prosecution argued that their release could be a threat to national security and also give an avenue to the accused persons to abscond due to the seriousness of the offence.
The nine persons, including three civilians and six military personnel are facing charges of treason felony and conspiracy to commit treason felony.
Subsequent to their plans, they are alleged to have hired the services of a local gun manufacturer to produce explosives, guns and ammunition, with which they intended to carry out their plans.
The accused persons are alleged to be members of a non-governmental organization — Take Action Ghana (TAG) — formed by Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, a medical doctor, and proprietor of Citadel Hospital at Alajo, Accra.
A civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces, Gershon Akpa, who is a weapons mechanic, is alleged to have agreed to sell two guns to the ‘coup doctor’ at a cost of GH¢7,000. He took GH¢2,000 part payment but returned the money later because he could not supply the guns.