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We were promised visas to oust Akufo-Addo gov -Witness

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Court

The fifth Prosecution Witness (PW5), Staff Sergeant Yeankye Kofi Jonas, has told the Financial Division of the Accra High Court that they were engaged to help oust the Akufo-Addo administration, with the promise to secure visas for them to leave the country.
PW5 narrated to the court yesterday that Mr Debrah, third accused, further told them that the said big boss, who is a doctor, would also take their bank details, and that they should not be worried.
Staff Sergeant Yeanky said this while being led by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Yvonne Attakora-Obuobisa, to give his evidence-in-chief at the court presided over by three Justices – Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, Hafsata Amaliba, and Stephen Oppong.
The court is trying Dr Frederick Yao Mac Palm, Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Clinic, Donyo Kafui, a blacksmith, alias Ezor, Bright Alan Debrah, alias BB, Johannes Zikpi, a Signaller with the Ghana Armed Forces, Corporal Seidu Abubakar (A5), Corporal Sylvester Akanpewu, Lance Airforce Corporal (LAC) Ali Solomon, Colonel Kojo Gameli, and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Benjamin Agordzo.
The following are questions (Q) and answers (A) by the prosecution and PW5:
Q. Can you give your full name to the court?
A. My name is Staff Sergeant Yeankye Kofi Jonas.
Q. Where do you work?
A. I work with the Ghana Armed Forces.
Q. How long have you worked with the Ghana Armed Forces?
A. 15 years.
Q. You joined at what rank?
A. Lance Corporal.
Q. Where did you do work within the Ghana Armed Forces?
A. I’m with the General Headquarters Prisons.
Q. How long have you been with General Headquarters?
A. I have worked with the General Headquarters for four years.
Q. What do you do at the General Headquarters Prison?
A. I’m the physical training instructor.
Q. Before being posted to the General Headquarters Prison, where were you?
A. 5th Battalion Infantry.
Q. Staff Sergeant Yeankye, I want you to look at the accused persons if you can identify them?
A. I know Mr Bright, Colonel Gameli, he was my former Commander, WO II Esther Saan, Seidu, Ali Solomon, and Sylvester.
Q. Tell the court whether you know one Staff Sergeant Awarf Kwadwo Sulley?
A. Yes.
Q. How do you know him?
A. He is my junior in the military and a friend to me.
Q. I want you to cast your mind to April and June 2018, where you were and what happened to the accused persons you have identified?
A. My lord, around that time, I was in Accra. I was at home when Staff Sergeant Awarf called me to come to his residence at the Teshie Barracks. When I got there, he told me that some people wanted to meet us and discuss some issues with us. So I told him to meet the people himself and whatever they will tell him, when he comes back, he should let me know. So I went back home. The next morning, he came to my workplace and told me that he has met the people and that they want us to meet and talk. And that they wanted us to mobilise some soldiers whom they wanted to use for their operations. They wanted to take power from the government.
Q. When you heard this what did you do?
A. I told him that what they have said is a serious thing, and if we involved ourselves and there’s a problem it will be a serious trouble. I told him to inform our superiors, and so Staff Sergeant Awarf left my place. He later called me that he has already informed some big men in relation to what they have told him. The next day he told me that the Director of Defence Intelligence instructed that we should also get some trusted soldiers who can be with us. So we made a list and handed it to Director of Defence Intelligence.
Q. Did you know who the Director of Defence Intelligence was?
A. He is now Brigadier General Andoh.
Q. Can you mentioned the names you submitted to the Director of Defence Intelligence?
A. The names were Awarf Sulley, Mensah Andrews, Nazieng Victor, Zakari Rahim, Ofosu Addo, Tekyi Joel, Dasmani Feisal.
Q. After you gave the names to the Director of Defence Intelligence what happened?
A. After Awarf handed over the names to him, he (Director) told us that anytime they call us we should go in our numbers and listen to whatever they will tell us. So from that time, it took sometime before I heard from Awarf again. So one day, I was at my workplace when he called that he was coming to my workplace. When he came, he told me that the people wanted to meet us at Next Door, so he is taking the lead with Zakari. So I should inform the rest to also come on that day. I went there with Sergeant Nazieng.
Q. You went where?
A. Next Door.
Q. Where is Next Door?
A. It is on the Beach road, opposite 48 Engineering Regiment.
Q. Can you tell the court what happened at Next Door?
A. When we got there, all the people were there, and we were welcomed by Mr BB. He gave us a sheet of paper to add our names to the list of names.
Q. Do you remember the date?
A. It was June 22, 2018.
Q. You said BB gave you paper to write your names?
A. After we wrote our names, he introduced himself to all of us, and he made us to also introduce ourselves. He told us that everybody at that meeting knows why we were there. So in the process while the meeting was going on, I was writing the names of the people who were present in the book that Sergeant Awarf brought.
Q. Do you remember those who were there?
A. Awarf Sulle, Nazieng Victor, Zakari Rahim, Addai Sylvester, Ali Solomon, Nii Ankorah, Atta Yeboah, Mensah Andrews, Abrahim, Abubaka Saddque and myself.
Q. Now, when you wrote down the names what happened after that?
A. I have not finished yet.
Q. Continue.
A. Dasmani Feisal, Dekyi Joel, Ofosu Addo, Mensah Andrews, Attah Yeboah and Madam Ester Saan
Q. Please go on?
A. At the meeting Bright told us we should come out with suggestions, and if anybody has a question he can bring it up. So some few suggestions were made by some of the people present at the meeting.
Q. Can you tell the court what these suggestions were?
A. Zakari Rahim spoke about welfare of we the men who are coming to do the operation. He made us know that it is the organisers who are supposed to be responsible for our welfare, and that whatever we are discussing over there should be within us and nobody should hear anything outside.
Secondly, Nii Ankorah also suggested communication gargets so that we can have easy communication, because of security reasons. Ali Solomon also asked a question that he wanted to know the number of people we were targeting. And also he wanted to know the one who is the boss. After everything; after the suggestions and questions, Mr Bright made us know that he is not the final boss. And that his boss is a doctor, and that he has travelled and when he comes he will make sure all of us meet him. When he comes our passport will be taken, and we will be given visas, and also our bank account details will be taken and we shouldn’t be afraid of anything. So while all these questions and suggestions were going on, I was also putting them down in the book where I copied the list of names. After that I tore that sheet and kept it in my bag.
Q. What did you do with this list?
A. I kept it. Then afterwards Mr Bright told us to prepare a list of equipment that we will need. So that the next time we meet, we will submit that list of items to him and see how best we can get them. The meeting came to an end, and from that time we were conversing, and we ended the meeting with refreshments. After we left there, Awarf told me that some of the people I saw there were also soldiers, and that some of them are from 48 Engineers, Air Force and MATS. So we all went to our various homes.
Q. After you left, what did you do with this paper that you kept?
A. The next morning Awarf came to my place and told me that he is going to hand over whatever information he has gathered to the Director of Defence Intelligence.
Q. What did you do with the list?
A. We handed everything to Director of Defence Intelligence.
Q. Tell the court what you have in your hands?
A. It is the same paper I wrote on?
DPP: My lord, we wished to tender this paper, which the witness said he wrote on and which was given to the Director of Defence Intelligence.
Court: Any objection?
One of the counsels: Objection; the list is not relevant and it has been altered.
DPP: …this document contains information on a meeting that some of the accused persons attended and decisions that were taken at this meeting. The witness has said that this meeting discussed the coup plot. The document is, therefore, extremely important to the charges, which the accused persons are facing. The witness said he is the author and this was not challenged by the counsel. It is relevant and coming from proper custody.
Court: The document is admitted as Exhibit E.
Q. Staff Sergeant Yeankye, after this meeting, tell the court what happened again, still in reference with the accused persons present in the court today?
A. After we submitted everything to the Director of Defence Intelligence, he told us to make a list of items which they asked us to bring. We should get it ready and give him a copy of it. On our next meeting at the Next Door, we handed the list to Mr Bright and he mentioned the items one by one to the hearing of all of us. That day the meeting was brief. It was about the things that we talked about the first day. That was what we spoke about on that day.
Q. Staff Sergeant Yeankye, after this what happened?
A. Some discussions were made and we ended the meeting with refreshments.
Q. What happened after that?
A. It took a while before I heard from Awarf again when we left there. So somewhere in May and June 2019, I met Awarf and he told me that Bright is on the lookout by the Military Police. It was during that time that I went to the Passport Office in Accra for some transaction…
Q. Before you go on with what happened at the Passport Office, you said PW3 told you A3 was on the lookout by the Military Police, what do mean by that?
A. He was wanted
Q. Tell the court about the Passport Office?
A. I saw BB at the Passport office that day. So I called Awarf upon seeing BB. I told him that I have wanted the Military Police men on duty at the Passport Office to effect his arrest and Awarf told me to hold on for him to call the Director of Defence Intelligence to inform him first. I waited for some time and he called to inform me that he couldn’t reach the Director of Defence Intelligence on his phone so I should allow him to go and I did as he said. Since that time I didn’t hear anything from Awarf and anybody again. So on the September 20, Awarf called me to come to his place at Teshie, when I got there, he told me that the doctor called him, for them to go to the Nextdoor Beach to try some locally manufactured pistols he has procured but in the process the Southern Command Patrol Team went to the beach to arrest them. So that was the information he had for me. From there I didn’t hear from Awarf until the September 24, 2019. I was at work when personnel from the Military Police from SI (Serious Investigation) came and invited me to their office that I should assist them in an investigation.
Q. On what happened after that?
A. They didn’t specify. I was then taken to 49 Engineering Guard room and I was detained. On the 26/09/2019, they brought me to the Military Police Headquarters where my statement was taken and from there I was taken to BNI and I was further detained.
Q. Were you told why you were arrested?
A. It was when I was brought to the Military Police that I was informed that I’m part of a coup plot so I should put it into writing whatever I know. After the statement I was brought to the BNI for further investigation. The next day, my statement was taken. Sorry I was interrogated and my statement was taken and they asked me and three others to go.
DPP: My lord, that will be all for the witness.
Cross examination by Ephraim Agbeko Vordaogu, counsel for Dr Frederick Mac Palm
Q. Staff Sergeant Yeankye, is that right?
A. Yes
Q. You just told this court that you gave a statement to the BNI, is that correct?
A. Yes
Q. Was that statement written for you or by someone else?
A. I wrote it myself.
Q. You can take a look at. Is that the statement that you wrote at the BNI?
A. Yes
Q. That statement was written on the 27/09/2019?
A. Yes.
Counsel: I want to ender this document through the witness.
Court: Any objection
Prosecution: No objection
Counsels: No objection
Court: The document is admitted as exhibit 2 for A1.
Q. Staff Sergeant apart from the statement of 2019, there was another statement that you gave 13/02/2020
A. Yes
Q. Did write that statement yourself?
A. Yes.
Q. Can you take a look at this?
A. Yes my lord it is my hand write.
Counsel: May I seek to tender the document through the witness.
Court: any obligation
Prosecution: no objection
Counsels: no objection
Court: Document tendered as exhibit 3 for A1.
Q. Staff Sergeant apart from the two statements you gave to the… 01/09/2020, do you remember any other statement you have given?
A. I don’t remember that statement.
Q. Can you look at this document and if you can refresh your memories?
A. It is my statement and a summarisation of all that I wrote at the Military Police and the BNI.
Counsel: May I seek leave to tender this document of PW5.
Prosecution: No objection.
Counsels: No objection
Court: The document is admitted as exhibit 4 for A1.
Q. Staff Sergeant, Exhibit 2, 3 & 4 for A1 are opportunities you had to give an account of events…?
A. Yes
Q. And on all these three occasions you were speaking to the same event that you alleged attended?
A. Yes
Q. Additionally, you also gave an oral testimony that also speaks to the same event not so?
A. Yes
Q. Now you will agree with me that in all these four instances you must give consistent rendition of what you have alleged to have participated in, not so?
A. Yes
Q. It is your testimony not so, that Staff Sergeant Awarf Sulley was the one who invited you to participate in your alleged meetings not so?
A. Yes.
Q. All times after the meetings you were been briefed by same Staff sergeant Awarf?
A. It is not all things that Awarf briefs me on apart from the things…?
Q. Did PW3 (Awarf Sulley) at least shared communication on what occurred on all these alleged enterprises?
A. Anytime he has to tell me something he doesn’t discuss it on phone. He will tell me to come to his house.
Q. You will agree with me that Staff Sergeant Awarf’s account in this court on events that you alleged to have participated in together or shared communication on should be accurate and consistent account?
Prosecution raises objection
Court disallows question.
Q. Now Staff Sergeant, in your exhibit 2 for A1, you stated that the first time PW3 talked to you, you declined and told him to go and come back?
A. Yes
Q. When PW3 came back he told you that the people he met wanted to bring the country to a state of emergency and take power?
A. Yes
Q. And again, on page 2 of the document you are holding, you stated that Sergeant Awarf and Zakari went to Blue gate …and also informed the president about it?
A. Yes.
Q. He came back to your workplace and told you that Col Opoku said “we have done well and he should go and see Mast Commandant” not so?
A. Yes because he is the one who went with Zakari.
Q. And the Mast Commandant said he should go and see Director of Defence Intelligence?
A. Yes
Q. Now that’s the sequence of event you narrated preceding your alleged meetings?
A. Yes
Q. Now you stated that you participated in two meetings, the first one was 22/06/19, do you recall that?
A. Yes
Q. When then did you participate in your alleged second meeting?
A. My lord, it was about some days before we met for the second meeting but the date specifically escaped me?
Q. May I suggest to you that PW3 spoke of attending meeting with you only once?
A. Yes
Q. Is it your case that you had participated in another meeting with Staff Sergeant Awarf?
A. Yes
Q. Is that meeting that you alleged that you said you went without PW3 is where you took the exhibit E?
A. No
Q. So where you took the note exhibit E was it the first or 2nd meeting?
A. No
Q. Was it not your case that you stated in you alleged meeting and this can be seen in exhibit 2 for A1 that when you got to the same meeting people had already seated, wrote their names and you just added your name to the list?
A. No
Q. Can you give me the document to read?
A. I didn’t just add my name to the paper, the paper and pen were given to me by a fair gentleman.
Q. The attachment that you add to exhibit D purporting to be notes taken by yourself at the said meeting were not your writing?
A. It is my hand writing.
Q. The handwriting in exhibit E is strikingly and sharply different from the handwriting in exhibits 2 & 3 for A1
A. All are my handwritings.
Q. And that exhibit E is a later creation not by you but which you have adopted as your own document, I’m putting that to you?
A. That is not true.
Q. Now I’m further putting it to you that all you participated in is only one meeting
A. No please.
Q. Now you stated in page 4 of exhibit 2 for A1 that I told Staff Sergeant Awarf that we should be very careful now that I’m a Military Police and the offence is treasonable?
A. Yes
Q. I’m putting it to you that you don’t have any basis for such a statement?
A. Yes.

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