The Accra High Court will rule today, January 24, on a case involving ACP Benjamin Agordzo, who is accused of plotting a coup. In 2021, ACP Benjamin Agordzo and eight others were charged with high treason.
Ten people were detained in 2019 following a police raid at the Citadel hospital, where they were tied to an alleged plot to undermine the country’s stability. The prosecution called thirteen witnesses, including members of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
Throughout the trial, video evidence was shown, shedding light on the accused defendants’ purported plan to destabilize the country, including their claimed desire to manufacture ammunition. Despite the allegations, each defendant has maintained their innocence and given their defenses.
Unfortunately, Dr. Mac Palm, the owner of the hospital where the accused were stationed, has had his evidence disregarded since he died last year.
The next decision today will determine the destiny of the accused, who, under the constitution, might face the death sentence if proven guilty.
According to a High Court decision, six people involved in an alleged coup plan were convicted of conspiracy to commit high treason and high treason. However, Assistant Commissioner of Police Benjamin Agordzo, Colonel Gameli, and Corporal Seidu Abubakar, a junior military officer, were acquitted.
The verdict was due to be given on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, following the filing of written submissions by the parties concerned. The allegations, which date back to April 24, 2021, featured Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, the late CEO of Citadel Hospital, ACP Dr. Agordzo, and eight others. The defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit high treason, abetment to commit high treason, and high treason.
The accused were Dr. Mac Palm (now deceased), Donya Kafui alias Ezor, Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu, Yohannes Zikpi, Warrant Officer Class Two Esther Saan Dekuwine, Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, and Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon, Colonel Samuel Kodzo Gameli and ACP Dr. Benjamin Agordzo have been charged with abetment. Throughout the trial, all 10 defendants pleaded not guilty and were given bail.
Dr. Mac-Palm’s death resulted in his evidence being removed from the record, which was officially acknowledged by the Court. The prosecution, directed by AG Godfred Yeboah Dame, featured Attorney General’s Department officials such as Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecutions, Hilda Craig, Winifred Sarpong, Lawrencia Adika, and Akosua Agyapomaa Agyemang. Each accused person was represented by a defense team that included Legal Aid attorneys as well as professional practitioners. Rita Akukunti Ali, Victor Kodjogah Adawudu, Anthony Lartey, Eric Kpongo, Lamptiig Apanga, Matthias Yir-Eru, Kormivi Dzotsi, Ephraim A. Vordoagu, and Maud Opoku were notable defense attorneys.
The three-member panel of justices, acting as extra High Court judges, included Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, Justice Hafisata Amaleboba, and Justice Stephen Oppong, with Justice Asare-Botwe serving as President.
During the trial, State Prosecutors called 13 witnesses, including seven soldiers. The prosecution closed their case on July 12, 2022, following a trial that began on June 8, 2021.
The six guilty of planning a coup have been sentenced to death by hanging. A three-member tribunal chaired by Justice Afia Serwaa Akoto Botchway pronounced the judgment, saying, “You’re hereby sentenced to death by hanging by the neck until your death, and your body will be buried wherever the president may order.” The convicts are, Warrant Officer II Esther Saan Dekuwine, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, and Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon, were convicted of conspiracy to commit high treason. Donya Kafui, a blacksmith, and Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu, a fleet manager, were convicted of conspiracy to commit treason and treason, respectively, while Johannes Zikpi, a civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces, was found guilty of conspiracy to conduct high treason. Whereas ACP Benjamin Agordzo and three others were fully acquitted.
His lawyer, Mr. Martin Kpebu, accused the state of putting ACP Agordzo through an unnecessary trial, claiming that his client was subjected to a “frivolous case.”
He remarked, “The Attorney General is aware that he brought a baseless prosecution against ACP Agordzo. According to the private legal practitioner, putting together such an unnecessary lawsuit was an attack on freedom of speech.