Thursday, March 23, 2023

Western Togoland case: Five convicted, sentencing deferred to March 21

A set of five persons standing trial for being members of a prohibited organization dubbed the Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF) have been found guilty by the High Court in Accra.

The five – Ebenezer Gblorkor, Afetorgbor Kpodo, Joseph Nyamewu, Wisdom Kumor and Israel Bessah Kpexor were all found guilty after full trial and have convicted.

The court presided over by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh after convicting them has however deferred the sentencing to March 21, 2023.

The convicts were charged for four counts  namely; attending meetings of a prohibited organization contrary to section 2(1)(b) of SMCD 20, making contributions to the funds of a prohibited organisation contrary to section 2(1)(g) of SMCD 20, participating in the Campaign of a prohibited organisation contrary to section 2(1)(d) of SMCD 20 and being a member of a prohibited organisation contrary to section 2(1)(i) of SMCD 20.

They had pleaded not guilty but at the end of the trial, Ebenezer Gblorkpor (1st accused) was found guilty and convicted on Counts 1, 2 and 4.

Afetorgbor Kpogo, the 2nd Accused was found guilty and convicted on Count 1 while the 3rd – Joseph Nyamewu, the 4th – Wisdom Kuvor and the 5th – Israel Bessah Kpexor were all found guilty and convicted on Counts 3 and 4.

The five according to EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, are facing a punishment between a fine and a maximum of five years in prison.

Other sets of accused persons have their cases pending on similar charges at the High Court in Accra.

Brief facts

Per the brief facts to the case, the Homeland Study Group (HSG) is an organisation with the primary aim to secede the Volta and Oti Regions, from the territories of Ghana.

According to the prosecution, the Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF) is an offshoot of HSG, established by Michael Koku Kwabla @ Togbe Yesu.

It said the WTRF’s main aim was to use force to secede the Volta and Oti Regions from Ghana, to form a new state to be called ‘Western Togoland’.

The prosecution also stated that it was established by Michael Koku Kwabla @ Togbe Yesu and together with his righthand-man, Charles Elo, they recruited persons to attend WTRF meetings, become members, participate in the group’s campaign and make contributions to the cause of WTRF.

The prosecution states that, the WTRF hatched a plan to campaign and protest for the secession of the Volta and Oti Regions.

It said they planned to campaign and protest by blocking roads that led to the Volta Region from Accra, with sand and burning tyres.

According to the prosecution, on September 25, 2020 at dawn, WTRF set the plans in motion and they divided themselves into groups.

It said one group blocked the Aveyime road from Accra, with trips of sand and burning tyres and the other WTRF groups proceeded to attack the Aveyime and Mepe police stations of the Ghana Police Service.

The prosecution noted that they wielded guns and other weapons and used same to overpower the policemen.

It added that they freed inmates from the cells, broke into the armoury of the stations and stole arms and ammunition including; 13 AK 47 assault rifles; 2 pistols; 5 pump action guns; 1 short gun; 2 mack-3 guns; 1 mack-4 gun; 3 SMG rifles; 11 rubber bullets; 25 rounds of 37mm tear gas cartridges; and about 300 rounds of AK47.

The prosecution also noted that, they also stole a police patrol vehicle with registration number GP 195, proceeded to attack the barracks and made away with monies and other items belonging to the police residents and their families.

“A Police team was sent from Sogakokpe to go and restore calm at Aveyime and Mepe. When they reached Aveyime, the team was attacked by WTRF member,” the prosecution noted.

It said “three police officers were injured and their leader, Chief Superintendent Dennis Fiakpui was shot.

“The signboard of the Police Service was defaced by WTRF members. They erased ‘Ghana’ from the phrase ‘Ghana Police Service’ printed on the signboard.

“They hang and displayed what they claimed to be flags of their new country (Western Togoland),” the prosecution stated.

It said in the midst of the road blockage and attacks on Aveyime and Mepe police stations, the WTRF members also jubilated and chanted ‘freedom freedom’ and the Police investigations led to the arrest of the accused persons.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Murtala Inusah