Private legal practitioner, Victor Adawudu, has served notice that he will no longer represent one of the 10 persons standing trial for allegedly planning to overthrow government in a violent coup.
Mr Adawudu had been representing Bright Alan Debrah Fosu and four other accused persons from the beginning of the case, but the accused yesterday told the court that he had received a call from the lawyer indicating that he is no longer his client.
Although the accused did not give any particular reason for the revocation of representation, he pleaded with the court to give him some time to speak with the lawyer.
Justice Afua Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional High Court judge did not take kindly to the withdrawal of representation, indicating that no lawyer has a right to call his client and “tell you that he can’t represent you again.”
“He is obligated to come or send someone to represent you. If he intends to withdraw his representation, he has to file an application to withdraw his representation giving reasons why he can’t continue to represent you,” she said.
The three-member panel of the court, presided over Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe and assisted by Justices Stephen Oppong and Hafisata Amaleboba, all Court of Appeal judges sitting as additional High Court judges, subsequently retained Mr Adawudu as counsel for the accused person until an application for withdrawal is filed and determined.
Meanwhile, the court said it will go ahead to hear the defence of the accused persons in spite of the failure by some of them to file their witness statements as ordered by the court.
The court held the view that the right to fair trial is a reciprocal one, and the filing of the witness statement helps in fair and speedy trial, but the Supreme Court did not say anything about defence filing witness statement but that directive came as a result of practice direction.
The court, however, stated that if the time comes for any of the accused persons to enter the dock and open their defence and “you decide not to do so, we will record you as having exercised your right to remain silent.”
The case was adjourned to February 8, 2023 for Dr Frederick Mac-Palm to open his defence.
Dr. Frederick Mac-Palm, Donya Kafui aka Ezor, Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu aka Bright Alan Yeboah or BB, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akapewu, Lance Corporal Seidu Abubakar, WO II Esther Saan Dekuwine aka Mama Gee and Johannes Zikpi, a civilian employee with the Ghana Armed Forces, are facing two counts of conspiracy to commit high treason and high treason.
ACP Dr. Benjamin Agordzo and Col. Samuel Kojo Gameli on the other hand have been charged with two counts of abetment of high treason each.
The accused persons, including three civilians and six military officers, are being accused of planning to usurp the executive powers of the state.
Subsequent to their plans, they are alleged to have hired the services of a local gun manufacturer to produce improvised explosive devices (IEDs), guns and ammunitions with which they intended to carry out their plans.
They are alleged to be members of a non-governmental organisation, Take Action Ghana (TAG), formed by Dr. Mac-Palm.
A civilian employee of the Ghana Armed Forces, Gershon Akpa, who is a weapons mechanic, is alleged to have agreed to sell two guns to the ‘coup doctor’ at a cost of GH¢7,000. He took GH¢2,000 part-payment but returned the money later because he could not supply the guns.