Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has questioned government’s claim of “an elaborate plot” to overthrow Ghana’s president and destabilise the country that has been under democratic regime for over two decades.
He argued the five persons arrested and being held for the alleged treasonable offence lack the competence to carry out such crime.
“We know the type, calibre of people who can organise and stage a coup and we know what they mobilise to be able to do that. So far there is no evidence from anywhere to support that these group of people they have picked… could be the team that could overthrow a government,” he stated.
Speaking to journalists on the side-lines of a parliamentary press corps training programme at Prampram Saturday, Mr Bagbin doubted the state has any credible evidence against the five persons, including a medical doctor and a senior military officer.
Government last Monday announced a joint security services operation on September 20 led to the retrieval of several arms, explosive devices and ammunition from locations within Accra and Kpone-Bawaleshie in Dodowa.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said three persons including a medical doctor were arrested in the operation, noting they were a part of group of persons who were planning to target the presidency and destabilise the country.
“The arrest and seizure come after 15 months of surveillance and gathering of evidence on the activities of the prime suspects and others,” he said in a statement.
Five persons, Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, said to be the leader of the group, and Ezor Kafui, a local weapon manufacturer, Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu, Colonel Samuel kojo Gameli and a civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces, Gershon Akpa, have since been put before court.
The five who are to return to court on October 9 are facing charges of conspiracy to manufacture arms and ammunition without lawful authority, possession of explosives, arms and ammunition without lawful excuse.
Evidence doesn’t support allegations
But in the view of Mr Bagbin, the information and evidence so far provided by government and what was presented to the district court last week are not solid enough.
“What we’re talking from is what they’ve made available,” he said, “and what they’ve made available doesn’t support the allegations they themselves are making”.
According to him, “I even have more information than they have”.
The astute politician claimed the allegation by the government is just politics.
“It’s part of the politics for people to claim those things but at the end of the day you always see that the government is not able to produce evidence to prove what they say. It happens to all governments, it’s not only this government,” he said.
Mr Bagbin has challenged the government to put proper evidence they have before the court “and level the right charges, not what they have now”.