Five persons accused of seceding the Volta and Oti Regions from Ghana have been sentenced to five years imprisonment each by an Accra High Court.
This is after the court has found the five persons, members of the Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF), guilty on various charges at the end of the trial.
The convicts are Ebenezer Gblorkor, Afetorgbor Kpodo, Joseph Nyamewu, Wisdom Kumor and Israel Besah Kpexor.
They were variously charged with attending meetings of a prohibited organisation, making contribution to the funds of a prohibited organisation, and participating in the campaign of a prohibited organisation.
The court presided over by Justice Mrs Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh said it took into consideration the fact that the accused persons were first time offenders, the period the accused persons had spent in custody, premeditation of the offence, attack meted on the police station and properties destroyed as a result of the attack.
According to the court, the sentence was to serve as deterrent to other like-minded persons.
Defence counsels for the convicts prayed the court to temper justice with mercy and also consider them by sentencing them to a day’s imprisonment because they had spent some time in custody.
The defence counsels held that the convicts were invited and promised to be enrolled into the Army and that handing down a custodial sentence on the convicts would have devastating effects on their families and relations.
They contended that the convicts had shown remorse throughout the trial and that they were at their prime ages.
The prosecution said the Homeland Study Group (HSG) was an organisation with the aim of seceding the Volta and Oti Regions from the territories of Ghana and that the Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF) was an offshoot of HSG established by Michael Koku Kwabla, aka Togbe Yesu.
It said the WTRF sought to use force to secede the Volta and Oti Regions from Ghana and to establish a new state to be called Western Togoland.
The prosecution said WTRF had planned to hold protests for the secession of the two regions and had blocked roads that led to the Volta region from Accra with sand and burning tyres.
It said on September 25, 2020, at dawn, WTRF divided themselves into groups and with a group blocking the Aveyime to Accra Road and others attacking the Aveyime and Mepe Police stations.
They wielded guns and other weapons and had used same to overpower some of the Policemen and freed some inmates and broke into the Police Armory and made away with 13 AK47 rifles, two pistols, a short gun, and 11 rubber bullets among others.
The prosecution held that a police patrol vehicle with registration number GP 195 was stolen, and that they made away with monies and properties belonging to police.
When a team of policemen were sent to restore peace, they were attacked and as result Chief Superintendent of Police Dennis Fiakpui was shot.
They also hoisted flags of the imaginary state of Western Togoland.
The prosecution said Police investigations led to the arrest of the accused persons, now convicts.