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Coup Plot: High Court Finds Six Guilty of High Treason, Orders Their Death by Hanging

The Court, however, did not find three other accused persons – Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Kodzo Gameli, and Corporal Seidu Abubakar guilty on charges of abetment to commit high treason, and were subsequently acquitted by the three-member panel of the Court.

An Accra High Court has sentenced six persons to death by hanging, following their conviction in a 5-year trial for high treason.

The six – Donya Kafui, (a blacksmith), Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu (a fleet manager), Johannes Zikpi (a civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces), Warrant Officer II Esther Saan Dekuwine, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon, and four others were arrested in September 2019 after a security swoop at the Citadel clinic in Accra, where authorities said they were plotting to commit a coup and destabilize the country.

The Court, however, did not find three other accused persons – Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Kodzo Gameli, and Corporal Seidu Abubakar guilty on charges of abetment to commit high treason, and were subsequently acquitted by the three-member panel of the Court.

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Their prosecution began as far back as April 2021, when Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm the deceased medical doctor and Chief Executive Officer of the Citadel Clinic was arrested.

According to prosecutors, Dr. Mac-Palm and other accused persons, under the guise of his NGO Take Action Ghana (TAG), had planned to organise series of demonstrations and eventually overthrow the government.

The Attorney-General had made arguments that the group contacted Donya Kafui from the Volta Region to manufacture ammunition, which was test-fired by Mac Palm and the latter at the Teshie Military shooting range, where they were arrested.

The judgment today marks a historic second since 1993 when persons convicted on death row were executed. And although Ghana had recently amended the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), to abolish the death penalty, the punishment for high treason has always been death – entrenched under Article 3(3) of the 1992 Constitution which remains superior to any other statute.

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