‘You are roping my client into the coup due to a misunderstanding’ – Lawyer
Mr Eric Pongo, lawyer for Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli, on trial with nine others for high treason, has told the High Court that the second prosecution witness roped his client in the case due to a misunderstanding he had with his client.
In a cross-examination of Brigadier General Nicholas Peter Andoh, Director General of Defense Intelligence of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the lawyer alleged that Colonel Gameli and Mr Andoh were on a Peace Keeping Mission in Nigeria some time ago when the misunderstanding ensued between them, hence, roping him into the crime.
However, Brigadier General Andoh told the Court that he did not recall that they went on such a mission together, adding that “I don’t bear him any grudge and he knows”.
Mr Pongo also told the prosecution witness that unlike the others, no surveillance was done on Colonel Gameli that was why he was not arrested with Dr Frederick Mac Palm, Donyo Kafui alias Ezor and Bright Allan Debrah but Brigadier General Andoh answered that he (Gameli) was arrested after a whatsapp chat between him and one Kalister (Mac Palm’s nurse) established his involvement.
Brigadier General Andoh said Colonel Gameli also confessed to the crime in his presence, four other colonels and an operative of the National Investigative Bureau (NIB), formerly BNI before he was handed over to NIB for further investigations.
Mr Pongo challenged the prosecution witness that the team had the recording (audio and video) of the confession but the witness referred him to the NIB for such records as the first confession done before his colleagues, the Brigadier General and the NIB operative was not on record, the Court heard.
Mr Anthony Lartey, lawyer for Mr Johannes Zikpi, civilian employee of GAF, in his cross-examination, defied the assertion that it was Zikpi who proposed for the acquisition of Gota phones to conceal their conversations and said it was rather a soldier who suggested that.
As a civilian employee, Zipki entered into the service of GAF with advance certificate in office equipment from the Accra Technical Training College and that he did not have the expertise in communication.
On the other hand, Brigadier General Andoh told the Court that he knew Zikpi as an expert in the signal regiment who was introduced to Dr Mac Palm by Colonel Gameli for the nefarious deal, adding that he worked with the signal regiment whose specialty is communication and Information Technology and was expected to be equipped as an expert in the field.
Mr Lartey put it to Mr Andoh that his client did not take part in the alleged high treason plot but refuted it and said Zikpi had confessed his participation in the Take Action Ghana’s activities leading to the plot, especially when he confessed being introduced to Dr Mac Palm at the Citadel Hospital by Colonel Gameli.
Zikpi, Brigadier General Andoh said, confessed to advising for the acquisition of jamming equipment to jam all radio stations except the one to be used for the announcement of the coup d’etat and took practical steps to contact other personnel to acquire Gota phones for the intended purpose.
Dr Mac Palm, Donyo, Debrah, Assistant Commissioner of Police Benjamin Korsi Agordzo, Warrant Officer Class ll Esther Saan, Colonel Gameli, Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon and Johannes Zipkui, a civilian staff at GAF are facing charges including conspiracy to commit high treason, high treason and abetment but have all have denied the offences and they have all been granted bail.
They are being tried by a three-member-panel of judges: Justice Hafisata Amaleboba, Justice George Oppong and Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, presiding.