Deputy Minister of Defence, Major Derrick Oduro (rtd), has revealed that more serious and “appropriate charges” will be levelled against the three suspects currently in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for allegedly planning to destabilise the country.
Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm, owner of Citadel Hospital and his two accomplices, Ezor Kafui a local weapon manufacturer and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu were arrested on Friday, 20 September 2019 at Accra and Bawaleshie near Dodowa by a joint security operation of personnel drawn from the Defence Intelligence, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and BNI.
The suspects are facing five charges of conspiracy to commit crime – manufacture of arms and ammunition without lawful authority, possession of explosives and firearms without lawful authority, manufacture of firearms without lawful authority, manufacture of explosives and ammunition without lawful authority and possession of explosives and firearms.
This has generated some controversy with critics questioning why there were no charges in relation to the alleged coup plot.
Asked why that is the case, Major Oduro told Benjamin Akakpo on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Wednesday, 25 September 2019 that: “Maybe, they are part of the entire charges that will be levelled against them. … From my own assessment, they needed some holding charges that will be part of the other charges to be preferred against them to keep them behind bars for them to have time to conclude their investigations”.
In his opinion, the current charges are “class one-nic charges” and “the appropriate charges will be proffered against them”.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North added that the suspects had an elaborate plan which was discovered through intelligence. He said the security agencies “followed them (suspects) and joined their meetings because they consulted so many people, they consulted some soldiers even in the barracks, they wanted to buy ammunition and weapons from barracks, they even gave out monies for the purchase of AK-47 [and] through that we were able to read all their intentions”.
The deputy minister indicated that: “After 15 months, we thought that it was okay to effect arrest and we did it last Friday”.
Based on information available to him, he noted that the detection of the ammunition at the Citadel Hospital facility in Accra “is the tip of the iceberg”.
“I’m telling you that we have evidence, we have information, we have everything about the consultations and then the meetings that they have had” and “how they are even going to conscientise the youth,” he added.