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Court discharges 20 suspected Western Togoland secessionists

graphic.com

Twenty out of the 21 people recently arrested on suspicion of being linked to the separatist Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF) have been discharged by an Accra Circuit Court.

They were picked up from a secret training camp at Kpevedui, near Dzodze in the Ketu North Municipality in the Volta Region on February 17, 2020.

Graphic Online’s reporter, Justice Agbenorsi who was in court Wednesday reported that the circuit court discharged the 20 after they were charged with participating in a campaign of a prohibited organisation and attending the meeting of a prohibited organisation.

At Wednesday’s hearing, the prosecutor, Chief Inspector Simon Apiosornu told the court presided over by Mrs Ellen Ofori Ayeh that the 20 accused persons were deceived into believing that they were being trained into the Ghana Armed Forces and hence prayed for them to be discharged.

The court subsequently discharged them.

They were busted in a dawn raid on the training camp in a valley, buried deep in a thick forest at Feivu, near Kpevedui, where they had allegedly been taken through military training for one week.

Until the arrest, members of the group, who were mostly in their early 20s, were said to be undergoing military drills and physical training.

They were airlifted to Accra and placed in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for further interrogations.

initial intelligence the regiment gathered was that there were 25 recruits undergoing the training, but some managed to escape.

Background

The HSGF, a group championing the secession of parts of Ghana along the border with Togo, declared independence for the territory they call ‘Western Togoland’ on November 16, last year.

The leader of Western Togoland independence, Charles Kormi Kudzodzi, announced the separation of Western Togoland from Ghana after a meeting in the Volta Regional capital, Ho.

After that announcement, some members of the group were arrested after they were alleged to have engaged in activities to champion the cause of the group.

On December 30, 2019, the Northern Regional Police arrested 18 people suspected to be part of the separatist group.

The arrest followed intelligence that some members of the alleged separatist group from Kpassa were holding a meeting in a primary school in Bimbila, with the aim of recruiting some youth to assist in their secessionist activities.

A joint military and police team was then deployed to the scene to arrest the 18 people.

On December 1, last year, the police in the Upper East Region also arrested 10 people said to be connected to the secessionist group.

The suspects were rounded up in an operation in Tumu in the Sissala East District.

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