Court adjourns secessionists’ case

A Ho High Court presided over by Justice Nicholas Charles Agbevor on Tuesday adjourned the treason case involving leaders of the Homeland Study Group Foundation, a secessionist group in the Volta Region to April 11.

Mr Moses Asampoa, the State Attorney said considering the seriousness of the case, one week was too short to conclude investigations and prayed the court for a date for the police to complete investigations for an informed decision.

He said the case was felony and that after investigations, the accused persons might have to go through indictable process if necessary.

Mr Asampoa drew the court’s attention to an act that appeared to be a violation of the court’s order-wearing of ‘T’ shirts with a delimited Ghana map by supporters and members of the Foundation, and said it was in furtherance of the offence and asked the court to restrain them from wearing and distributing those “T” shirts.

Mr Emil Atsu Agbakpe, Counsel for the accused persons said it was unconstitutional to bring accused persons to court and said you were going to look for evidence and asked on what ground the accused persons were brought to court if the police had no “requisite evidence.”

He said the practice was against fair trial and an abuse of the human rights of the accused persons and submitted that if the prosecution had no evidence to support the charge, the accused persons be discharged.

On the issue of the “T” shirt, Mr Agbakpe said treason was committed by weapons and not “T” shirts and that “if a State is uncomfortable with mere ‘T’ shirts, then it is not democratic. We are living in democracy, rule of law”.

He said it lied in the mouth of the State Attorney that the wearing of the “T” shirts was in furtherance of the offence and asked the court not to give it any attention.

Justice Agbevor in adjourning the case cautioned players in the case-the prosecution, the counsel and members of the Foundation against acts that could cause tension in the Region and said the “T” shirts could not be described as “mere” because they had inscriptions traceable to the offence.

He said though he would not ban the wearing of the “T” shirts, those who wear them, do that at their own risk because they could be arrested and charged under sections in the criminal code.

Leaders of the secessionist group; Kormi Kudzordzi, Martin Asiana Agbenu and Divine Odonkor were on March 9, granted bail of GH¢50,000 with two sureties each by the court after they were arrested and charged with treason felony.

The three, with four others at large allegedly held a press conference on February 26, this year, in Ho chaired by Kudzordzi who claimed that Western Togoland sovereignty was non-negotiable and that Ghana’s hold on Togoland was illegal and must be denounced and decoupled immediately.

The Group allegedly threatened that people who had patience to go in the direction of due process was gradually reducing and being replaced by those who thought the slow process was not acceptable to them and wanted it in a radical form and that the time for the radicals to act was now.

The court heard that the Group had planned to declare independence of the Western Togoland by May 9, and printed “T” shirts with a delimited Ghana map with the eastern portion marked, “State of Western Togoland.”


Source: GNA

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