Major General Nicholas Peter Andoh, Chief of Staff at the General Headquarters, Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), has told the High Court hearing the treason trial of Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm and ten others that Mac-Palm had the intention of causing maximum harm in their coup d’etat plan.
The second prosecution witness said Mac-Palm was the main brain behind the plot as he took practical steps to recruit security personnel, through Debrah to advance his cause, procure and manufacture weapons that would cause harm.
Giving his evidence-in-chief, he said when the improvised explosive devices were tested, it came out that each of them would kill or damage anybody within 200 metres radius, adding that the report was available to the Court.
“Dr Mac-Palm used his hospital meant to keep patients to make weapons to cause destruction,” the Court heard.
He told the Court how he was informed of Warrant Officer Class II (WOII) Esther Saan’s, (of the military and training school) intention to recruit Corporal Awarf Sule into Take Action Ghana (TAG) which mission was to overthrow the government.
As Bright Allan Debrah Yeboah brain washed and won their support for that purpose by telling them that the economic and social environment of the country was chaotic and needed a change thus, he and TAG were ready for that change and needed support of the military to effect that change, the witness added.
Major General Andoh continued that Dr Mac Palm also requested Corporal Awarf to help recruit more personnel to support the overthrow and gave him a Techno mobile phone to facilitate further communications.
The phone, he said already had the contacts with details of Dr Mac Palm, Debrah, WOII Saan, alias Mama “G” as well as five others.
He said the Chief of Defence Staff, Minister of Defence and the National Security Coordinator were all informed about the developments and he was tasked to monitor their meetings and activities, so Colonel Isaac Amponsah, Director of Operational Intelligence, was asked to coordinate the information gathering whilst Awarf, among others were resourced to record their meetings both on video and audio.
Mr Andoh said aside the recording, Mac Palm divulged other information to Awarf, since he had won their confidence.
He told the Court about their recorded meetings on June 22, 2018, July 7 and 9, 2018, April 18, 23 and 26, 2019, July 27 and 28, 2019 and March 7, at Mac Palm’s residence –Dodowa, Kotobabi Police Station, Coconut Groove Hotel, among other places where different members of the group met and in an instance, met police officers also to plan and acquire weapons.
They planned to monitor President Akufo Addo’s movements by recruiting one person from the Jubilee House as well as equip another with a motorbike to be following the President wherever he went, Major General Andoh told the Court in his evidence-in-chief.
As TAG planned to win the mass support through medical outreaches, mobilise funds, there was intension to win the support of both local and international communities to give a semblance of civil revolt similar to the Arab Spring, he added.
He said in July 28, 2019, Kafui was introduced to Awarf as a blacksmith who would manufacture improvised explosives, pistols and others, adding that Dr Mac Palm again promised to bring a “jujuman” from Alavanyo, where Kafui came from to make them swear an oath of secrecy and also fortify them.
Kafui, he said, made 14 improvised explosive devices and 12 pistols within two weeks and Dr Mac Palm, who converted his X-ray room to make way for the making of the weapons was once captured on video complaining that Geshon Akpa, a weapon mechanic of the military had refused to make the weapons he paid GHS2,000.00 for.
The witness said when Colonel Amponsah facilitated the release of Mac Palm, Awarf and Kafui in the course of testing the weapons at the LABOMA Beach Resort-Teshie, Mac Palm afterwards invited him thinking he was on his side not knowing it was a plan for the surveillance to be completed.
He said Colonel Gameli was invited by the BNI for questioning (where he finally confessed to the offence), after Mac Palm, Kafui and Debrah were finally arrested and when he (Colonel Gameli) was contacted on phone by Mac Palm’s nurse, stating that later when the phone was secured through a court’s order, it came out that Assistant Commissioner of Police ACP Benjamin Korsi Agordzo, then on Peace Keeping Mission was also part of TAG.
After giving his full support to TAG, ACP Agordzo also suggested that the group had complimentary security, advocated for massive violent demonstrations, typical of Arab Spring, adding that Arab Spring’s elements existed in Ghana awaiting a trigger.
Colonel Gameli, the witness said, introduced Mr Johannes Zikpi, a civilian employee communication expert with the Signal Regiment, to TAG whose goal was to work out the communication plan for the coup plot by acquiring Gota phones to conceal their communication as well as acquire communication jamming equipment to jam all radio stations except the one they would make their announcements on the day of the coup.
They also had Metal pipes (shell of bombs), gun powder, nails, iron rods (for pellets), seductive chemicals that would cause sedation within certain radius
I have known two of the accused persons but the rest of the eight I got to know during a surveillance operation I conducted with my department from the middle of June 2018 and September 21, 2019, he said.
Dr Frederick Mac Palm, Donyo Kafui, alias Ezor, Bright Alan Debrah Yeaboah, alias “BB,” Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon, Warrant Officer Class II Esther Saan, Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli , Johannes Zikpi and Assistant Commissioner of Police Benjamin Korsi Agordzo.
They are facing various charges such as conspiracy to commit treason, treason, possession of weapons and abetment and have been granted bail except Zipki, Kafui and Ali who have not met their bail conditions. They are being tried by a three-member-panel of judges.