Youngest Suspect, 21 Others Freed In Secessionist Trial

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Rejoice Amankwah, the youngest woman in the secessionist trial has been freed along with 21 other accused persons.

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The 22 discharged persons were part of the 51 secessionists who were earlier arraigned on charges, including treason and belonging in a prohibited group.

The group of 51 have just two women, Rejoice Amankwah, who is in her early twenties, and Lena Amegbor who is in her 50’s.

On Wednesday, the prosecution told the Acra Circuit court, presided over by Rosemond Baah Tosu, that they have completed their investigations and would want the 22 people to be discharged.

The prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Slyvester Asare, did not give reasons for the decision.

“We are here to present an amended fact sheet and we seek to redraw the previous charge sheet which has 51 herein.

“It is our prayer that the accused persons are discharged from the previous charge,” ASP Asare told the court.

It was Rejoice Amankwah who in the course of the trial was asked by the judge, Rosemary Baah, to confirm allegations of human rights abuse made by their defence counsel.

“Have you had your bath since you were arrested?” the judge quizzed.

“I didn’t bathe for the first three days. They refused to give me water to bath,” Rejoice replied almost in tears.

But with today’s decision, Rejoice Amankwah can rejoice.

 

Meanwhile, the 29 suspected secessionists have been remanded in police custody for another two weeks.

They are set to answer to an amended charge sheet. The case continues on November 18, 2020.

Background

Led by the Chairman of the Homeland Study Group Foundation, Charles Kormi Kudzodzi, alias Papavi Hogbedetor, the group embarked on a series of activities to have the Volta Region, parts of the North East and Upper East regions declared as an independent state called Western Togoland.

On May 9, 2017, the group unsuccessfully tried to declare the independence of Western Togoland.

On Thursday, May 9, 2019, the Ghana Police Service arrested eight leaders for embarking on activities deemed unlawful.

Papavi Hogbedetor, however, announced the separation of the Western Togoland on social media on Saturday, November 16, 2019, after a group meeting in Ho.

The police declared the 85-year-old leader of the group wanted in December 2019 over the declaration.

In February 2020, the 66 Artillery Regiment arrested 21 suspects from a secret training camp at Kpevedui, near Dzodze in the Ketu North Municipality in the Volta Region.

The group also managed to hoist a flag of Western Togoland in front of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council on the eve of Ghana’s independence day celebration this year.

The 31 persons were arrested over Friday dawn’s revolt in the Volta Region have since been slapped with five charges.

The charges relate to conspiracy to commit crime namely to attend a meeting of the prohibited organisation, to participate in a campaign of a prohibited organisation and rioting with weapons.

Their pleas were not taken as the state prosecutor ASP Sylvester Asare informed the court the state wants them remanded into custody to aid investigations.

He also informed the court the Bureau of National Investigations and other security agencies have left Accra to the Volta Region to conduct further investigations.

 

 

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