By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh |
Some 81 individuals including two women arrested on Wednesday in and around Ho, the Volta Regional capital for unlawful social/public gathering to demonstrate against an earlier arrest of leaders of secessionist group, Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF) have been granted bail.
The Regional Police Command in collaboration with the 66 Artillery Regiment on Wednesday arrested 17 people in the house of leader of the group, Charles Kormi Kudzordi (who lives near the Barracks in Ho), 54 aboard a bus entering Ho and 10 others at other entry points to the Ho municipality.
Seventy-one of them were earlier granted police enquiry bail while the remaining 10 were on Thursday, granted a bail of GH¢500 each with a public servant as surety by a Ho circuit court.
Lawyer for HSGF, Emile Atsu Agbakpe prayed the court presided over by His Worship Ebenezer Kwaku Ansah to grant the 10 bail while the court looked into merits of the case, arguing that an intention to demonstrate in itself could not be deemed to be an offence.
The accused persons were asked to reappear in court on May 21, 2019.
Meanwhile, the Lawyer in a separate habeas corpus application seeking the Ho High Court 2 to allow for the eight persons arrested on Sunday to be produced before the court, failed to convince the court.
In dismissing the application, Justice Baah said the case was already being tried by a competent court in Accra with the whereabouts of the accused persons known and so the claims of their whereabouts being unknown could not hold.
Eight persons were on Sunday arrested in Ho and airlifted to Accra in a joint operation by the police and the military for their alleged attempt to secede the Volta Region from Ghana and declare it on Thursday, May 9, as an independent country called Western Togoland.
They included over 80-year old leader of the group, Charles Kormi Kudzordzi, popularly known as Papavi Hogbedetor, Bisa Akorli, 54, Kofi Dzreke, 39, Thompson Tsigbe, 58, Benjamin Agbadzada, 48, Agbenyega Akudzi, 54, Freemen Blikaku, 36, and Nkpe Tsryiri Kudzo aged 61.
They were (without access to a lawyer) arraigned before a high court on Wednesday in Accra on charges of conspiracy to commit treason felony, abetment of unlawful training, unlawful assembly and offensive conduct conducive to breach of peace.
All of them were denied bail except the octogenarian who was admitted to a bail in the sum of GHS250,000 and they would reappear on May 22, 2019.
This was the second time the leadership of the Homeland Study Group Foundation had been arrested for attempting to declare the Volta Region an independent state.
The group made waves in 2017 when police arrested some of its leaders on March 7, in Ho for agitating for the restoration of Western Togoland as a state and a declaration of independence on March 9.
Although the leading figures of the Foundation were ordered by a high court in Ho to sign a bond of good behaviour and desist from their secessionist activities in July 2017, they convened another breakaway conference.
According to the group, the Gold Coast voted to be a unitary state on July 12, 1956 while the Western Togoland voted to be in union with Ghana on July 9, 1956 and that the union had not been established till now.
The Homeland Study Group Foundation was formed by secessionists to unite all the supporters of Togoland. The group has since been campaigning for the Volta/Oti Region and parts of Northern, North East and Upper East regions from Ghana to join the new state.