6 More Western Togoland supporters jailed 13yrs

Togoland - Rapid News GH

An Accra High Court has sentenced six additional members of the banned Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF), a group that aims to secede the Volta and Oti regions from the nation to a total of thirteen and a half years in prison.

In addition to their prison sentences, the six convicted individuals were fined GH¢15,600 by the court chaired by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh.

If the fine is not paid, the convicted parties will be sentenced to an additional 22 months in jail.

The following prisoners were sentenced to jail periods ranging from six months to three years: Gabriel Godfred Govina, Benjamin Gbadago, Cephas Zoddanu, Richard Doglo Ametepe, Cosmos Havor, and Vincent Ramseyer Atsu-Galey. They were transported to the cooler last Wednesday. Togoland

The Forbidden Organizations Act, 1976 (SMCD 20) found them guilty on 11 charges of membership to or aiding and abetting a forbidden group. The maximum punishment for each conviction is five years.

Last month, the court cleared and released John Gbedemah, Godwin Awudza, Excel Liberty Aheto Kuegbesika, and Divine Nyadzinyor, the other four individuals who were charged with belonging to the WTRF. Togoland

There are now 17 WTRF members incarcerated for their membership in the banned organization, and many more are awaiting trial.

Danger to Security

Judge Yanzuh delivered the punishment and characterized the prisoners’ and WTRF’s conduct as grave threats that, had security services not acted quickly, could have caused a catastrophic security problem for the nation.

“I must say, with documentary and visual evidence, that any law-abiding citizen should feel shivers down their spines after this organization’s disastrous act,” the speaker declared.

Given that the defendants were young adults and first-time offenders, Justice Yanzuh stated she declined to give them the maximum penalty of five years. Togoland

Case of prosecution

The prosecution’s version of the case’s facts stated that the Homeland Study Group (HSG) was founded many years ago by a man known as Charles Kwami Kudzordzi, also known as Papavi Hogbedetor, with the intention of severing Ghana’s Volta and Oti regions in order to create Western Togoland.

It said after Papavi left the scene, many other prohibited groups sprung up, and one such group was the WTRF formed by one Michael Koku Kwabla, aka Togbe Yesu, with the sole purpose of using force to achieve the creation of Western Togoland, which was to cover the Volta and Oti regions, and some parts of the Eastern and Northern regions.

The prosecution said the convicts were part of the WTRF and played various instrumental roles in its activities

Blocking roads

According to the prosecution, WTRF hatched a plan to embark on massive protests and civil disobedience to achieve the aims of the group, and on September 25, 2020, members of the WTRF implemented their plans by first blocking the road from Aveyime to Accra, with sand and burning tires.

The prosecution said while one group of WTRF blocked the road, another group of the WTRF attacked the Aveyime and Mepe police stations.

“They wielded guns and other weapons and used the same to overpower the policemen.

They freed inmates from the cells, broke into the armoury of the stations and stole arms and ammunition, including 13 AK 47 assault rifles, two pistols, five pump action guns, a short gun, two mack-3 guns, one mack-4 gun, three SMG rifles, 11 rubber bullets, 25 rounds of 37mm tear gas cartridges and about 300 rounds of AK47 bullets.

“They also stole a police patrol vehicle with registration number GP 195, proceeded to attack the barracks and made away with money and other items belonging to the police residents and their families,” the prosecution told the court.

Increased criminality

The prosecution also informed the court that the group attacked a police squad dispatched from Sogakope to reestablish order at Aveyime and Mepe, wounding three officers and shooting Chief Superintendent Dennis Fiakpui, the unit’s leader.

“WTRF members vandalized the Police Service signboard.

The prosecution said, “They hung and displayed what they claimed to be flags of their new country (Western Togoland), and they erased the word Ghana from the phrase “Ghana Police Service” printed on the signboard.”

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