The High Court in Accra has given various sentences to six members of the secessionist campaign group in Ghana, the Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF).
The Western Togoland Restoration Front is a campaign splinter group from the Homeland Study Group Foundation, whose objective is to secede from Ghana.
In March 2023, the Accra High Court sentenced five other members of the group to five years imprisonment each in hard labour.
The convicts in 2020 attacked police officers, destroyed a police car and a police station as well as blocked roads leading to the Volta Region in an attempt to prevent people from other parts of Ghana to access the Volta Region.
Their reason was that they wanted to secede from Ghana.
Sentences for the six other members
Kwame Tornyeveadzi was sentenced to six years imprisonment on the charge of stealing an AK47 rifle belonging to the Ghana Police at Aveyime in the Volta region on September 25, 2020.
Five other accomplices were sentenced to four years imprisonment each by the court presided over by Mrs Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh.
The six were variously charged with 19 counts of attending meetings of a prohibited group, participation in a campaign of a prohibited organisation, making contributions for the benefit of a prohibited organisation and being members of a prohibited organisation.
The court earlier found them guilty on the charges and convicted them but deferred their sentences.
The court said it considered the fact that they were first-time offenders and the time they had spent in custody.
It, however, took a serious view of the charge of stealing and the attacks launched by some of their followers on a police station.
In his plea for mitigation, Mr Chris Ackumey, counsel for the convicts, prayed the court to deal leniently with his clients because they had been in custody for the past two years and seven months.
Mr Ackumey said the convicts were only desirous in finding the history of where they came from.
“They were in search of knowledge, unfortunately, our quest for knowledge has landed us where we are now. They have no intent of falling foul of the law.
“We found ourselves in the circumstances beyond our control and the same had landed us where were are.”
The defence counsel told the court that his clients while in custody, had suffered emotionally, physically, and spiritually and had also displayed remorse during the trial.
“Given the chance, we would not commit the mess again. Consider the trauma and suffering we have gone through,” he added.
Mr Joshua Sackey, a Senior Attorney for the Republic prayed the court to hand down deterrent sentences and fines on the convicts to serve as a warning to other like-minded persons.
According to him, the convicts had not shown any remorse.
He rejected the assertion by defence counsel that the convicts wanted to learn their history.
The Attorney said evidence before the court proved otherwise.
The National Security Council, based on intelligence, arrested members of the Western Togoland Restoration Front, who on September 25, 2020, blocked roads at Juapong and Sogakope and set fire to two STC buses on.
The prosecution said on the same day, the group also attacked the Aveyime and Mepe Police Stations, freed inmates in the cells, locked up policemen on duty, took arms and ammunition from the armoury of the polices and bolted.
The convicts were arrested for being members of the WTRF and their various roles in the Group’s activities such as attending meetings, contributing of funds and the receipt of funds for running the Organisation.