ACP Dr Benjamin Agordzo
An attempt by lawyers to secure bail for ACP/Dr. Benjamin Agordzo, who is in police custody for his alleged involvement in a coup plot, has hit the snag as an Accra High Court has dismissed the application.
According to the court, the application is premature because, according to the court, the accused person is a senior police officer and given his influence and experience in the police service, he could interfere with ongoing investigations.
ACP Agordzo is alleged to have incited members of a non-governmental organization, Take Action Ghana (TAG), to demonstrate against the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government and subsequently overthrow it as he allegedly said it is within their right to do so.
Apart from his alleged involvement in the planning of the said demonstration, ACP Agordzo is said to have assisted the group with various sums of money to facilitate the organization of the intended demonstration and overthrow of the government.
He is said to have also drafted a speech to be delivered on the day of the demonstration and the subsequent overthrow of the Akufo-Addo government.
Moving the application for bail, Martin Kpebu, counsel for ACP Agordzo, argued that his client had no intention to carry out any coup in the country.
According to him, ACP Agordzo had given lectures on similar issues by submitting that considering high unemployment in Ghana it could lead to an Arab spring and steps needed to be taken to avert it.
Payment To TAG
He admitted that his client only contributed GH¢2,000 to TAG but said it was meant for a philanthropic activity at Agbogbloshie, Accra, which was carried out.
Counsel said “my client is two ranks away from the status of Inspector General of Police” and his comments were harmless and were not intended for any coup.
Mr. Kpebu argued that ACP Agordzo is a senior police officer who is not a flight risk and would appear for the trial when granted bail.
He also told the court that there is a convention within the Ghana Police Service where senior officers who find themselves in this kind of situations are handed over to the IGP who can release them whenever they are needed.
Opposition To Bail
Senior State Attorney Hilda Craig, representing the prosecution, opposed the bail application and insisted that the accused person is a senior police officer who could interfere with investigations when granted bail.
She insisted that ACP Agordzo was actively involved in the alleged coup plot and rebutted the lawyer’s claims that his client was innocent.
She said investigations had revealed that the accused person even when he was outside the country was in constant contact with Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, Proprietor of the Alajo Citadel Hospital, who is the alleged mastermind of the whole coup plot.
She told the court that the applicant is a senior police officer who is enjoined to uphold the law and prevent the commission of crime in the country but instead he went round whipping up the sentiments of Ghanaians to rise up against the government.
The court also heard that ACP Agordzo was not only added to the TAG WhatsApp platform, but was also an active member of their ‘Executive Platform’ where ‘sensitive’ matters, as Dr. Mac-Palm describes it, were discussed.
The Chief State Attorney told the court that ACP Agordzo also had several discussions with Dr. Mac-Palm aside from what was discussed on their WhatsApp platforms.
She added that investigations also revealed that although the applicant was outside the country, he drafted a speech for Dr. Mac-Palm to be read at the planned ‘Arab Spring’ demonstration.
The senior state attorney further told the court that ACP Agordzo wields a lot of power in the police service and it is the same police service that is investigating the matter and, therefore, he is capable of influencing the investigations.
The court presided over by Justice George Buadi refused the bail application, saying it is premature and the accused person being a senior police officer could interfere with investigations.
He said although some of the comments of ACP Agordzo may pass as freedom of expression, his association with the other alleged coup plotters is unfortunate, as highly placed officers require some ‘aloofness’ regarding politics and pseudo-political activities.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak