Home » No Execution for Ghana Coup Plotters, Lawyer Explains

No Execution for Ghana Coup Plotters, Lawyer Explains

by Motoni Olodun

The 10 men who were sentenced to death by hanging for plotting to overthrow the government of Ghana will not be executed, a human rights lawyer has explained.

Martin Kpebu, a former president of the Ghana Bar Association, said that the death penalty is still on the statute books in Ghana, but it has not been carried out since 1993.

He said that the president of Ghana has the power to commute the death sentences to life imprisonment, and that this has been the practice for the past 28 years.

“The president has always exercised his prerogative of mercy to convert the death sentences to life imprisonment. So I don’t think these 10 people will be hanged. They will most likely spend the rest of their lives in prison,” he said.

Kpebu also said that the convicts have the right to appeal their sentences to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, and that they can also petition the president for clemency.

He said that the trial of the coup plotters was fair and transparent, and that the evidence against them was overwhelming.

“They were caught red-handed with weapons, explosives, and documents outlining their plans to destabilize the country. They also confessed to their roles in the plot. The court had no option but to convict them,” he said.

The 10 men, who includeincludee a former army officer, a medical doctor, and a weapons expert, were found guilty of treason, conspiracy, and possession of firearms and explosives by a High Court in Accra on Friday.

They were accused of planning to assassinate the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, and other top officials, and to seize key installations, such as the radio and television stations, the airport, and the military barracks, in September 2019.

The prosecution said that the plot was masterminded by a group called “Take Action Ghana”, which aimed to create a new political order in the country.

The defense lawyers argued that the evidence was fabricated, and that the accused were victims of entrapment by the security agencies.

The judge, Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, said that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, and that the accused posed a serious threat to the national security and sovereignty of Ghana.

She said that the death penalty was the appropriate punishment for their crimes, and that she hoped it would serve as a deterrent to others who might harbor similar intentions.

Ghana is a stable democracy in West Africa, which has held seven peaceful and credible elections since 1992. The country is widely regarded as a model of good governance and development in the region.

However, the country has also witnessed four military coups in its history, the last one in 1981, which ushered in a decade of authoritarian rule under Jerry Rawlings, who later became a civilian president.

The current president, Akufo-Addo, who won a second term in December 2020, has vowed to uphold the rule of law and protect the constitutional order of Ghana.

He has also expressed his sympathy and solidarity with the families of the coup plotters, and urged them to seek legal recourse if they are dissatisfied with the verdict.

Source: [GhanaWeb

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