8 alleged Volta secessionists granted GH¢800, 000 bail

Each accused person was granted bail in the sum of GH¢100,000

All the nine members of the Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF), the group alleged to be planning to secede the Volta Region from the rest of Ghana, have now been granted bail by the Accra High Court.

At Thursday’s hearing, the court admitted seven members of the group and a soldier alleged to have aided their operations to bail in the total sum of GH¢800,000.

Each accused person was granted bail in the sum of GH¢100,000, with two sureties, one to be justified.

As part of the bail condition, the alleged secessionists must also report themselves to the police every Monday and Thursday.

The court also ruled that the physical locations of the accused persons and those who would stand surety for them must be verified by the case investigator before the bail bond could be executed.

Those granted bail were Besa Amedeus Akorli, Blay Kaku Freeman, Nkpe Tornyie Kudjo, Kofi Dzereke, Thompson Tsigbe, Benjamin Agbodzagah, Agbenyega Akudzi and Sergeant Samuel Kpogli Kwabla.

The court was presided over by a three-member panel — Justices Jerome N. Nkrumah, Charles Ekow Baiden and Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe.

On May 8, 2018, it admitted the octogenarian leader of the group, Charles Kormi Kudzodzi (aka Papavi Hogbedetor), to bail in the sum of GH¢250,000 bail, with two sureties, one of which must be justified.

All the nine accused persons have been charged with conspiracy to commit treason, abetment of unlawful training, unlawful assembly and offensive conduct conducive to the breach of the peace.

Bail application

The accused persons were granted bail following an application by their lawyer, Mr E.T.P. Akaba, who argued that his clients, when granted bail, would always avail themselves to stand trial.

“When admitted to bail, they will also not interfere with police investigations or do anything that will jeopardise the trial,” counsel argued.

The prosecutor, Mr Fred Awindago, a State Attorney, did not oppose the bail application but pleaded with the court to attach conditions that would compel the accused persons to always show up in court for the trial.

Hearing continues on July 1, 2019.

Facts

According to the facts, as presented by the prosecution, the group calling itself the HSGF planned to secede the Volta Region from Ghana and declare it as an independent country called Western Togoland.

They claim that the Volta Region (Western Togoland) was formerly an independent state before being made to join Ghana in a plebiscite.

Eight of its members were arrested by a combined team of police and military men in a house in Ho while holding a meeting to finalise arrangements to declare the Volta Region an independent state on May 9, 20I9.

When the police intercepted their meeting, they found T-shirts with the inscriptions: “9th May is our day” and “A Citizen of Western Togoland”.

The police also found messages that revealed that Sgt Kwabla, the soldier, had given the group advance messages to hide their weapons due to a pending search by a combined team of the police and the military.

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