5 Western Togoland ‘Fighters’ Convicted

An Accra High Court has convicted five persons arrested in the Volta Region for their participation in activities aimed at usurping the executive powers of Ghana.

The five were among a host of individuals arrested in connection with a violent demonstration organised by secessionist group, Homeland Study Group (HSG), which led to an attack on the Aveyime and Mepe police stations armoury in the Volta Region where they stole a number of weapons, ammunitions, a police patrol vehicle, among others after they managed to overpower the police officers on duty.

Ebenezer Gblorkpor, Afetorgbor Kpogo, Joseph Nyamewu, Wisdom Kuvor and Israel Bessah Kpexor were dragged before the court on charges of attending meetings of a prohibited organisation contrary to section 2(1)(b) of SMCD 20, and making contributions to the funds of a prohibited organisation.

They were also charged for participating in the campaign of a prohibited organisation contrary to section 2(1)(d) and being a member of a prohibited organisation contrary to section 2(1)(i) of SMCD 20.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges, but the court presided over by Justice Mary Yanzuh, at the end of the trial held that the Attorney General’s Office was able to prove the charges levelled against the accused persons.

The court subsequently found the accused persons guilty and convicted them. It, however, deferred their sentencing to March 21, 2023.

The convicts are facing a fine of up to GH¢12,000 or up to five years imprisonment. The court is also empowered to hand both a fine and prison sentence to the convicts.

Per the prosecution’s facts, the accused persons had plans to ‘secede’ from Ghana and pursuant to that had divided themselves into various groups to carry out their plans.

On September 25, 2020, one of the groups including the accused persons, while armed went to the Aveyime and Mepe police stations where they overpowered police officers on duty and freed cell inmates.

The convicts then went into the armoury and stole 17 AK47 assault rifles, five pump action guns, one shotgun, two Mack 3 gun, three SMG rifles, 11 rubber bullets, 25 rounds of 37mm tear gas cartridges, about 300 rounds of AK47 ammunition and a police patrol vehicle at the Aveyime police station.

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 restore calm at Aveyime and Mepe but when they reached Aveyime, the team was attacked by members of Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF), an offshoot of HSG.

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

In the midst of the road blockage and attacks on Aveyime and Mepe police stations, the WTRF members also jubilated and chanted “freedom freedom.”