A High Court in Accra, presided over by Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh, has convicted five Western Togoland secessionists who were arrested by the police in September 2020 after they blocked the Aveyime road from Accra with sand, and attacked the Aveyime and Mepe Police Stations in the Volta Region.
The court, however, deferred sentencing of the five accused to 21 March 2023. The Republic was represented in court by Adoma Osei, a senior state attorney in the Office of the Attorney General.
The five were found guilty of offences contrary to the Prohibited Organisations Act 1976 (Supreme Military Council Decree/SMCD20).
The first two of the four charges under SMCD20 proffered against the accused were attending meetings of a prohibited organization, contrary to Section 2(1) (b) of SMCD20. The other had to do with making contributions to the funds of a prohibited organisation, contrary to Section 2(1)(g) of SMCD 20.
The third and fourth charges were participating in the campaign of a prohibited organisation, contrary to Section 2(1) (d) of SMCD20, and being a member of a prohibited organisation, contrary to Section 2(1)(i) of SMCD20.
The first accused, Ebenezer Gblorkpor, was found guilty and convicted on counts one, two and four. The second accused, Afetorgbor Kpogo, was found guilty and convicted on the first count only. The third accused (Joseph Nyamewu), fourth accused (Wisdom Kuvor) and fifth accused (Israel Bessah Kpexor) were all found guilty and convicted on counts three and four.
The Homeland Study Group (HSG) is an organisation formed with the primary aim of seceding from the Volta and Oti regions, and from the territories of Ghana.
The Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF), on the other hand, is an offshoot of HSG, established by Michael Koku Kwabla, also known as Togbe Yesu.
The WTRF’s main aim was to use force to make it possible for the Volta and Oti regions to secede from Ghana, and form a new state, to be called “Western Togoland”. The organisation was established by Kwabla.
Together with his right-hand man, Charles Elo, he recruited individuals who attended WTRF meetings, became members, participated in the group’s campaign and made contributions to the WTRF cause.
The WTRF hatched a plan to campaign and protest for the secession of the Volta and Oti Regions. They planned to campaign and protest by blocking roads leading from Accra to the Volta Region.
Action on Aveyime
At dawn of September 25, 2020, the WTRF cadres set their plans in motion. They divided themselves into groups. One group blocked the Aveyime road from Accra with trips of sand and burning tyres.
The other WTRF groups proceeded to attack the police stations in Aveyime and Mepe, property of the Ghana Police Service. They were wielding guns and other weapons and used these to overpower the police officers on duty.
The WTRF rebels freed inmates from the cells, broke into the armoury at the stations and stole arms and ammunition, including: 13 AK-47 assault rifles, two pistols, five pump-action guns, one shotgun, two MAC-3 guns, one MAC-4 gun, three SMG rifles, 11 rubber bullets, 25 rounds of 37mm tear gas cartridges, and roughly 300 rounds of AK-47 ammunition.
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 officer residents and their families.
A police team was sent from Sogakope to restore calm in Aveyime and Mepe. Unfortunately, when the team reached Aveyime, members were attacked by WTRF rebels. Three police officers were injured and their leader, Chief Superintendent Dennis Fiakpui, was shot.
A signboard for the Police Service was defaced by WTRF members who erased “Ghana” from the name “Ghana Police Service” printed on the signboard.
They hung and displayed what they claimed to be flag of their new country, Western Togoland. Amid the road blockage action and the attacks on Aveyime and Mepe Police Stations, the WTRF members also jubilated and chanted, “Freedom, freedom.”
Police investigations eventually led to the arrest of the accused persons.
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