Six Coup Plotters Sentenced to Death by High Court; Two Others Released

In a landmark judgment, the High Court has handed down sentences in the case of the alleged coup plotters, resulting in six individuals being sentenced to death by hanging. The charges against them included counts of conspiracy to commit high treason and committing high treason.

The trial, which commenced with charges filed on April 24, 2021, involved ten accused individuals. The Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Hospital (now deceased), Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, and ACP Dr. Benjamin Agordzo, along with eight others, were charged with various offenses, including conspiracy to high treason, encouragement to high treason, and high treason.

The court’s ruling, delivered on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, follows a thorough trial that included both parties filing written submissions on November 22, 2023. The accused faced charges ranging from conspiracy to commit high treason to abetment.

The High Court, led by a three-member panel of judges comprising Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, Justice Hafisata Amaleboba, and Justice Stephen Oppong, found six of the accused guilty of plotting a coup and sentenced them to death by hanging. However, the court cleared Assistant Commissioner of Police Benjamin Agordzo, Colonel Samuel Kodzo Gameli, and one other junior military officer, Corporal Seidu Abubakar.

The acquitted individuals were found not guilty of the charges brought against them. The six convicted coup plotters sentenced to death include Donya Kafui, aka Ezor (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, and Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon, all of whom are soldiers.

Notably, the court had to delete the evidence of Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm from the records following his passing away while giving testimony. The legal teams involved in the case included prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Department and defense lawyers representing the accused.

The judgment brings closure to a trial that spanned several months, involving a total of 13 witnesses, including seven soldiers. The case attracted significant attention, given the gravity of the charges and the potential implications on national security.