Six individuals, including three soldiers, were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for their involvement in an alleged plot to overthrow the Ghanaian government three years ago.
The arrests took place in 2021 when the men were caught testing weapons at an old shooting range in Accra.
Intelligence gathered from telephone taps led authorities to a blacksmith shop where the weapons were being manufactured, as stated in court documents.
Despite pleading not guilty during the trial, the high court delivered the death sentence for the six accused. Heavy police presence surrounded the high court during the hearing and sentencing.
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In a surprising turn, the high court acquitted police chief Benjamin Agordzo, army officer Colonel Samuel Kodzo Gameli, and another junior military officer, Corporal Seidu Abubakar.
Following his acquittal, Police Chief Agordzo expressed his gratitude, saying, “We give glory to God.
He alone has made it happen. They knew it was falsehood.
Our God doesn’t fail. I have always been free within my heart, and I knew how it was going to end.”
The six individuals, including a gunsmith and a civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces, faced charges of conspiracy to commit treason in 2021.
Ghana’s Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, who led the prosecution, praised the trial’s outcome.
He emphasized the significance of the judgment, stating, “It is a significant judgment because the constitution of Ghana, as the fundamental law of the country, frowns seriously upon any attempt to overthrow a government, and that is why that offense [treason] is punishable by death.”
Court documents revealed that the men were arrested in the capital, Accra, with locally manufactured guns, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), AK-47 rifles, and other ammunition.
The accused were associated with a group called Take Action Ghana (TAG) and had planned to stage demonstrations to ostensibly topple the government.
This marks the first treason trial in Ghana since 1963 when the country’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, was overthrown.
Ghana last executed a criminal under the death penalty in 1992 when it returned to constitutional rule.
The recent ruling comes at a time when Ghana, known for its stable democracy since 1992, faces increased security concerns, amidst a backdrop of coups in the wider West African region in recent years.