Nobody is prohibited from discussing coup d’etats in Ghana – lawyer

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Dr Frederick Mac Palm
Dr Frederick Mac Palm

Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu, counsel for five of the ten persons being tried for treason, has told the High Court that nobody was prohibited from discussing coup d’etats on social media.

He said Ghana’s political history had had six military takeovers, thus, the word coup d’etats and overthrow was not prohibited.

He was cross-examining Colonel Isaac Amponsah, the first prosecution witness after his evidence-in-chief in the ongoing trial.

Colonel Amponsah said it depended on the context in which such discussion was made, adding that in their context it was subversive, because they discussed how to capture the President, vice president, chief justice, speaker of parliament by making explosive devices laced with sedative chemicals and gases that when released would make them fall asleep for easy capture.

You also go ahead to recruit soldiers to carry out the act. It’s not an ordinary social media platform to discuss National issues, he emphasized.

There were professionals including lawyers, judges, police and military officers and ordinary people on Take Action Ghana (TAG) WhatsApp platform, Mr Adawudu put it to Colonel Amponsah.

Mr Adawudu said the accused persons had a WhatsApp platform where they discussed varied issues stating that there was nothing unlawful about discussing national issues on that platform but the witness said it was a facade.

The lawyer disagreed and said the mission of Take Action Ghana (TAG) platform, was to mobilise the youth in nation building, provision of education, health and shelter to the needy.

TAG went to Otareso in the Eastern Region, among other areas on medical outreach, however, Colonel Amponsah said all those activities were to gain mass support akin to the insurgency.

Counsel told the prosecution witness that demonstration and protests were allowed in Ghana and they are a fundamental human rights guaranteed in the constitution therefore it was not out of place for the accused persons to plan one, Colonel Amponsah said it was true.

He suggested to the witness that the security agencies were afraid that TAG was mobilising people to demonstrate against government as well as feared the Arab spring situation that was why they arrested the accused persons but witness answered no.

“You arrested accused to suppress their fundamental human rights and freedom and also to gag the members and citizens to criticize government,” Mr Adawudu asked the witness and he said they did not have the capability to do that.

Asked whether he knew that funding came from members contributions, Colonel Amponsah said Dr Frederick Mac Palm had earlier informed a security Operative that infiltrated their camp that he Mac Palm was footing all the bills and that there was a time he wanted to use his car as a collateral to take loan but he was denied because BNI was investigating the car at DVLA.

Dr Frederick Mac Palm, Donyo Kafui alias Ezor, Bright Allan Debrah Yeboah, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akankpewu and Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Jahannes Zipki, Warrant Officer Class Two (WOII) Esther Saan, Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli, ACP Benjamin Korsi Agordzo are facing charges such as conspiracy to commit treason, treason, abetment and possession of weapons without authority.

They have all denied the charges and are on bail being tried by a three-panel of judges: Justice George Oppong, Justice Hafsata Amaleboba and presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe.

Trial has been adjourned to June 21, 2021 for case management conference.

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