The five members convicted in connection with the Western Togoland Secessionist case have each been sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison with hard labour.
They were sentenced by the Criminal Division of an Accra High Court Tuesday, March 21, 2023, after they were found guilty of the charges levelled against them.
The group who wanted Western Togoland to be declared an independent country, upon their arrest, attacked a police station at Aveyime, in the Volta Region, freed inmates, stole ammunition, blocked roads leading to the Volta Region and shot a police officer.
But after more than a year of trial, the Court convicted them on March 17, 2023, after finding them guilty of offences contrary to the Prohibited Organisations Act 1976 (Supreme Military Council Decree/SMCD20).
In court on Tuesday, March 21, the first accused person, Ebenezer Gblorkpor, was found guilty and convicted on three counts.
Afetorgbor Kpogo, the second accused person, was also found guilty and convicted for attending meetings of a prohibited organisation contrary to Section 2(1)(b) of SMCD 20.
The third, fourth and fifth accused persons, Joseph Nyamewu, Wisdom Kuvor, and Israel Bessah Kpexor respectively were all found guilty and convicted on two counts.
Charges preferred against the accused persons were attending meetings of a prohibited organisation contrary to Section 2(1)(b) of SMCD 20 as count 1 and making contributions to the funds of a prohibited organisation contrary to Section 2(1)(g) of SMCD 20 as count 2.
The third and fourth charges also were participating in the campaign of a prohibited organisation contrary to section 2(1)(d) of SMCD 20, as well as being a member of a prohibited organisation contrary to section 2(1)(i) of SMCD 20.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for the convicts Andrew Kudzo Vortia, in his mitigation prayed to the court to consider the fact that the convicts have been in custody within the period of the trial.
He furthered by reminding the court that the accused were first-time offenders who are in their youthful ages and also in the prime of their lives since they all fall below 35 years and have a lot of life to live.
However, the Assistant State Attorney, Derrick Ackah, argued that the convicts attacked 2 police stations, blocked roads and attacked police officers and that the actions of the convicts were premeditated and aggravated.
He indicated again that the accused throughout the trial period showed no remorse therefore the defence lawyer’s plea could not be accepted.
The presiding Judge, Mary Yanzuh, after considering both submissions noted that the actions of the convicts are premeditated and aggravated hence the maximum sentence of five years should apply.
She hence sentenced the quintet to 5 years for each count of offence with their sentencing expected to run concurrently.