The three retired South African police officers who were picked up at Agona Duakwa in the Central region for allegedly engaging in activities with national security implications have been granted bail.
According to Graphic Online’s court correspondent, Mabel Aku Baneseh, they were each granted a GhȻ20,000 bail with one surety when they were arraigned at the Accra Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon.
The three — Major Ahmed Shaik Hazis (retd), 54; Warrant Officer Denver Dwayhe, 33, and Captain Mlungiseli Jokani, 45 — were arrested at the EL-Capitano Hotel where they had been based since arriving in Ghana.
They were said to be training 15 young men in various security drills, including unarmed combat, weapon handling, VIP protection techniques and rapid response exercises.
In Court on Thursday, our correspondent reported that they were represented by a team of seven lawyers led by Ellis Owusu Fordjour and Samuel Atta Akyea.
They were charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit crime, unlawful training and making false declaration. They pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
There was confusion however after the court proceedings according to our correspondent as officers of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) took the accused persons away.
Their lawyers protested and argued that the rights of their clients were being curtailed and that it was an abuse of the court processes.
Mr Samuel Atta Akyea for instance insisted that the court ordered that the accused persons should be released to the Registrar whilst they [BNI] went to inspect the houses of the sureties, but instead they opted to take the accused persons away.
That he said was in “bad taste” since it was disrespectful to the laws and a defiance to the orders of the court.
The prosecution, led by Superintendent Francis Baah had wanted the accused persons to be remanded but the defence lawyers raised objections and made cogent legal arguments for the release on bail of the accused persons.
The court presided over by Patricia Quansah sided with the defence and granted the accused persons bail. The case was then adjourned to April 12, 2016.
The court ordered that the passports of the accused persons should be deposited with the Registrar and that the sureties were to provide photo identity cards to satisfy the bail conditions.
Brief facts presented in court stated that the accused persons were retired South African Police Officers and that between the month of January 2016 and March 2016, they applied for visa at the Ghana High Commission in South Africa on the pretext of doing business in Ghana.
It said based on the information given to the High Commissioner, the accused persons were granted their visas and they arrived in Ghana in the month of March 2016.
According to the facts, a few days ago, information reached the security agencies that some people were training five people in military tactics at Agona Duakwa.
They were arrested and during investigation, the accused persons stated that they were brought into the country from South Africa by one Captain Edmund Kojo Koda (retd) and Captain Kwesi Acquah (retd) to train New Patriotic Party (NPP) security personnel towards 2016 general election in Ghana.
Further investigation at Ghana Immigration Service revealed that the accused persons filled disembarkation forms indicating they were in Ghana to do business. It said investigation was still ongoing.
Source: Graphic online