Videos of coup plotting are like Kumkum Bhagya -3rd Accused

Bright Alan Debrah Ofosu, third accused in the treason trial, has described videos put up by the state to prosecute him and nine others as Kumkum Bhagya, an Indian telenovela with a twi voice-over.

According to him, although he could identify his image in the videos, the best description he could give it was Kumkum Bhagya.
He explained that the voices had been cut and pieced together to suit the circumstances of the instance case.

He added that the coup plot was cooked by people who want to use it as springboard to win certain favours in their fields of endeavour, and indeed they have all been promoted.
Alan said the videos were not a true reflection of what they were discussing, since the group they formed was not violence inclined, but a nonprofit organisation.

He told an Accra High Court, presided over by three Court of Appeal justices, this week Monday, that the accusations pressed against them were false.
Mr. Deborah made the statement while opening his defence in the trial for high treason and abetment.

He also told the court that those who arrested him seized his money and they had since not returned it to him.

Q. Please give your full name to the court.
A. My name is Bright Alan Yeboah.
Q. Where do you live?

A. I live at American House.
Q. What you do?
A. I’m a Fleet Manager.

Q. Mr. Alan, do you know why you have been brought to this court?
A. Yes.
Q. Can you tell the court why you have been brought to the court?

A. I happened to be with a man by name Nii Amu Darkor and… We were engaged in a political discourse in a group called Africa Reform Movement (ARM). I was appointed National Organiser.

I had the opportunity to tour every part of the country, as required by the rules guiding politics in the country. I visited every district in the country to establish and to collect signatures, and I was able to present a document to the Electoral Commission. When I brought the document to the EC, we were provided a provisional license.

We were left with the second item to complete, which is, we should have offices covering, at least, two-third of the districts across the country.

We were unable to meet this requirement, which means that we could not complete the process to become a political party. Our aim was to contest the 2016 elections, but we could not. The leader of the political group was domiciled in Australia, so he returned to Australia. Some times in 2017, he called me from Australia and told me that a man called Dr. Frederick MacPalm will call me.

I asked him what the purpose of the call was.
Dr. Nii Amu Darkor told me the call was about the formation of our political group. Dr. Nii Amu Darko commended me on getting signatures all over the country in a short time. Dr. Amu Darko told me he wanted me to make some changes by involving Dr. MacPalm, and he will take a role as the National Organiser, and I will be his Deputy.

Dr. Nii Amu Darko sought my opinion whether I agree with the new charges and I told him we all wanted the best. I responded that if Dr. MacPalm joins the group and it will help, so be it. The following day I received a call and the caller said he is called Dr. MacPalm. He asked me if I’m the one called Odeneho, because I’m also known by that name.

He told me that it was Dr. Nii Amu Darko, who gave him my contact, and he invited me to his office for a discussion, and I agreed. I promised to meet him in three days time. Indeed, I called him in three days time, and he gave me directions to his location. When I got there we had a conversation and it was centered on the politics. That was how I got to know him (Dr. MacPalm).

We had our party office at Teshie Nungua Estate. Myself, Dr. MacPalm and some other officials of the party met on several occasions to have discussions about the party. Later, there was a misunderstanding that ensued between Dr. MacPalm and Dr. Nii Amu Darko, and that was how Dr. MacPalm said he was no longer part of the political group and disassociated himself.

Since then, we became friends and we often met to have our personal discussions. Later in 2018, I met Dr. MacPalm, and during one of our discussions he expressed the interest to help his country.

I asked him something like what. He replied that it is something that would help the poor and needy, because whenever he visits the rural areas, he sees lots of suffering and wanted us to do something about it. I told him it was a good idea and I will help him.

He told me that he had a friend called Dr. Sam and he was living in the US. In 2018, Dr. Sam visited Ghana and Dr. Fred called me for a meeting at his office located at Alajo. When I got there he introduced Dr. Sam to me. I repeated the earlier discussion we had about Dr. MacPalm interest to help his country so we should reflect over it and see how to start and what we to start with.

First and foremost, we discussed the name of the group, and we settled that the group would be an NGO. We agreed on the name Take Action Ghana. Our slogan is we will help you to help yourself.

Because we don’t have any bad intention we decided to register it. I led the registration process. At the Registrar General my records there is general secretary.

This is how we conducted our activities; we appointed three officers, and I was the leader. We selected a town by name Ankwani near Otariso in the Eastern Region. Myself and two others went to see the Chief of the town. We informed to him that we are an NGO that helps the needy and they are lucky as they have been selected for assistance.

We promised to organise health outreach programmes for them with free doctors, nurses and medicines, and the people were very happy, because the nearby towns and villages that don’t have health facilities; we fixed a date and went.

The group went with Dr. MacPalm and some nurses bought medicine and the programme was well attended by a crowd. The patients were examined and medicine was administered to them, and those whose illness required further health attention, were supposed financially.

Q. Do you have evidence to support the outreach programme?
A. Yes.
Q. Mr. Alan, what do you want to do with the picture?

A. I want to tender the picture for the court to know I’m speaking the truth.
Counsel: My lord, we want tendered the picture.
Prosecution: No objection.
Q. After Otariso what happened?

A. I have not finished.
Q. Continue.

A. Because there was no nearby hospital, we decided to help them to help themselves by providing a small health post. We had a discussion with the Chief, and later donated 100 bags of cement for the construction of the health facility.

Q. Do you have any evidence to back your donation of cement bags?
A. Yes. This a picture of myself and officers handing over the cement bags to the Chief of the town.

Q. What do you want to do with the picture?
A. I want to tender it into evidence.
Prosecution: I fail to find the relevance of the picture to the charges the accused is facing.
Counsel: Per the foundation laid the picture would be allowed in.

Q. Please continue from the point where the cement was given to the people of Otariso.
A. After the donation of the cement bags they started moulding the blocks. After Otariso, we continued to Upper West Region. We went to a town called Naha Timdima at Wa West District.

Q. At Naha you did the same thing you did at Otariso?
A. Yes.
Q. On your way to Naha what happened?

A. It was a long journey, and when we got to Bamboi and Bole, we saw that there were many cars parked in the middle of the road. When we enquired, we were told that it was armed robbers. So we waited for a while.

The police arrived at the scene and a policeman with a gun escorted us to Wa, and to our hotel where we rested. We organised the outreach programme there, and again, since there was no health facility nearby, we decided to help as well. We donated cement bags for the construction of a medical facility.

Q. Please tell the court what happened on your return to Accra from Wa.
A. After we returned to Accra, we reviewed the programme, because our group wanted to engage in a wide range of activities, so we engaged experts.

Because of what we experienced in Wa was a security matter and had security officers among us, we contacted one of them by named Sulley Kwadwo Awarf. He happens to be a soldier. We met him at Dr. MacPalm’s office and narrated what happened to him on our way to Wa. Some of us became so afraid and even threatened to resign.

Mr. Awarf Sulley encouraged us and promised to help us. His said he will provide us with pistols so that anytime we are traveling we would use it for our personal protection. I told him that because of my temperament, I can’t handle a pistol.

He said the pistol was not meant to be kept at home, but they are only to be used when we are traveling. The pistols should be distributed to us. He said in case the same incident that happened at Wa occurs, we can all fire and it will scare the criminals.

Dr. MacPalm told Sulley that he already has a pistol which is registered. Dr. MacPalm asked Mr. Sulley that since he already has a pistol how many more would be needed. I recall Sulley saying we needed five or six pistols. I told him I told believe guns are not sold on the open market, and he responded that since he is a security person, we should leave that to him.

I responded okay, and he assured us that he will handle it and revert. We continued with our work and visited Sankegua in the Western Region.
Q. Was Mr. Sulley Awarf part of the trip?

A. No.
Q. And at Sankegua you did what you did at Otariso and Naha?
A. Yes, but we did not donate cement bags.

Q. Please tell the court what happened on your way to Accra.
A. After our returned we went to Kpando and repeated the same gesture as at Otariso, Naha and Asankegu.

Q. Please tell the court what happened on your way from Kpando.
A. When we came back from Kpando to Accra, we engaged Sulley.
Q. You earlier told the court that Mr. Sulley Awarf promised to assist you with pistols. Did Awarf assisted TAG to acquire the pistols?

A. Yes he helped. I remember some time back that I was at work; Sulley Awarf called me that I should go to 37 and that the car has broken down, and I told him I can’t make it, because I have to be in a series of meetings at my workplace. I pleaded with Mr. Sulley to make alternative arrangements for the person to be picked up at the station.

A. Did he tell you the person to be picked at 37?
A. I remember he did not mention the name of the person, but said it was the person who will help us in connection with the pistols.

Q. Did Sulley tell you how this person was eventually picked up at 37 station?
A. I remember that in the evening he told me that he had gone to pick up the person, and we will be meeting the following day at Dr. MacPalm’s house.

Q. Did the meeting eventually take place at Dr. MacPalm’s?
A. I remember the meeting take place. I remember calling Dr. MacPalm whether he was aware of the said meeting and he said yes.

Q. Who were present at the meeting at Dr. MacPalm’s house?
A. I was present, Sully, Donya Kafui, by then I didn’t know him, and one other man I don’t remember his name.
Q. What exactly happened?

A. I remember it was Dr. MacPalm who first spoke, and he introduced Ezor, Sulley and some other person, and who they were.
Q. Alan, please tell the court what exactly you said Dr. MacPalm told you and the other people who were present.

A. Dr. MacPalm said Ezor would be the one to repair the guns, and the discussion also covered monetary issues. After was the meeting ended, and I left. Later Dr. MacPalm called me and asked why I have deserted my responsibility, and I said I was busy.

Dr. MacPalm told me if I was aware that Sulley Awarf had been bringing guns for Ezor to repair and we will bear the cost. So I called Sulley and the following day we met at Dr. MacPalm’s office in an X-ray container. I remember telling Sulley that Dr. MacPalm said he has been bringing weapons, and he brought out one and showed me how to operate it, but I gave it back because I have never seen one before. I also had the opportunity to travel.

Q. Alan, do you remember how many pistols Mr. Awarf eventually brought?
A. What I saw was five.
Q. What happened to the five pistols Mr. Sulley brought?

A. I remember one time Sulley called me that the pistols have been fixed, and we should go and test fire. I told him I don’t have time and all I needed to know they were done repairing them… Dr. MacPalm told me that Sulley took me to Teshie and the soldiers have seized the weapon.

I called Sulley, but he did not respond. The following day I needed to meet someone at 37 who I have sold a vehicle to with the documents, and Sulley Awarf called me and he said he was nearby so I should wait for him. Just as I was at 37 DVLA I was arrested and slapped. They asked me what was in the envelope and I said a car documents and money, and it was seized.

Q. What happened when you were arrest?
A. When I was arrested they put me in a car and I saw Sulley in the car. I saw Colonel Amponsa in front of the car.

When I enquired why I was arrested, he ordered Abada to slap me and threatened me that if I wanted to lose my teeth I should continue talking. I was asked to direct them to my house. While on the way going, I saw Sulley also in handcuffs and didn’t know with a phone in his hand.

I suspected he texted Col Amponsa that where I was sending them is not my house, meanwhile, he didn’t know my house. I told them I cannot send them to another person’s house. I was hand and leg cuffed. They search my entire house, and the only thing they picked up was a kitchen knife. They also search my office after which they sent me to the BNI office.

Q. What happened at the BNI?
A. They did not tell me anything, but requested for my password. I refused and I was hit at my abdomen. I was stripped naked and later given a rope. In the morning they carried me in their car to Kawukudi. When we got there, there were some officials and I was asked whether I know Dr. MacPalm and whether he has expressed interest to be President, and I responded he has not discussed that with me.

They asked whether I have had any discussion with some soldiers, and I said yes, we have formed an NGO and we are putting together professionals, and I wanted them to be part.

Q. Please tell the court what happened at the interrogation room.

A. After interrogation on day one, it was on day 2 that I met Lawyer Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu. He told me it was my family who have hired him to assist me. When they were taking me in, one Ator said they wanted to have a discussion with me, and my lawyer said since he was my counsel he needed to be present, but they said his presence was not needed.

In the midst of the back and forth, Ator pulled me away and in the room I met one other person whom I later got to know as Francis Aboakye, who also came to testify in this court. He asked me to calm down, and said if I was aware that if I’m found guilty of the offence I will be sentenced to death, and I responded yes.

I was given Daily Guide newspaper and I saw two men on the front, it was Ofosu Ampofo and others. I have heard Ofosu Ampofo was invited and he declined. They asked me about the whereabouts of those two men.

I said no and he said they are in the countries of their choice. Ator said if I’m able to do what I they want me to do they will send me to the country of my choice. Francis Boakye promised me that if I’m able to do the assignment they are giving me they will send me to the country of my choice. They brought out four photographs and they stated that if I’m able to identify it then I’m qualified.

The first picture was about a woman in Kente and it was Valerie Sawya, former Deputy Chief of Staff under former President Mahama. So he nodded, and he brought out the second photograph, and I identified it was Kofi Adams, former National Organisation and now aspiring parliamentary candidate for Buem.

He showed me the third photograph, and he asked if I could identify it and I said yes. And I said it is a picture of ACP Benjamin Agordzo, and the last picture was also a police officer, and I was asked if I could identify it, and I said it is Superintendent Peter Lanchene Tuubo, Secretary to the IGP, who also resigned to vie for a parliamentary seat.

I was given a paper to sign and I was told that I will be used as a witness, after which they will send me to a country of my choice. I told them I want to read the content of the paper first. They wanted me to say those people whom I have mentioned their names wanted me to mobilise soldiers to overthrow the government, and I responded that I have never met any of these people. He told me I should not worry and that they will hire big lawyers to defend me.

Q. What do you say to the allegation that you, Dr. MacPalm, A2, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, and A10 were planning to overthrow the government?

A. The allegation is a lie. I have never met ACP Benjamin Agordzo, Col Gamali, and the others, except Ezor and A9 that I have known him for a long time. I have seen A8 only once. The rest I have never met them.

Q. What do you say about the contents of the videos that you held a series of meetings to plan to overturn the government?

A. I was in the video, and I saw myself, A2, A9 and A8. The first time I saw the video, it was like Kumkum Bhagya and an India movie with Twi voice over.
Q. In essence you are denying the content of all those videos?

A. The pictures are mine, but the voices have been cut and pieced together to suit their case. So they did all these to progress in their work, and, indeed, they have all been promoted. They took my money and they have since not returned it to me.
Kumivi Dotse

Q. A6 is a person known to you for several reasons?
A. Yes. I know her very well.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here