The three South African ex-police officers arrested for training the private security personnel of the New Patriotic Party are to be released on a GHC60,000-bail.
The three, whose acts were considered by the Bureau of National Investigations as a threat to national security, pleaded not guilty to five counts of conspiracy to commit crime, unlawful training and making false declaration when they made their first appearance in court Thursday afternoon.
They appeared in court with seven lawyers led by Elis Owusu-Fordjour, Samuel Ata Akyea and five others.
Each of them was admitted to a GHC20,000-bail with a surety, the Accra Circuit Court ruled after the Police prosecutors presented their case against the three – Major Ahmed Shaik Hazis (rtd), 54; Warrant Officer Denver Dwayhe, 33, and Captain Mlungiseli Jokani, 45.
The prosecution claims the three were training five people in military tactics at Agona Duakwa in the Central Region. According to the prosecution, their investigation has revealed “the accused persons filed disembarkation forms indicating that they were in Ghana to do business”
Police prosecutors led by DSP A.A. Anor told the court investigations are still ongoing and prayed the court for the three to be remanded to get to the bottom of the case but the defence team objected. The court having listened to the argument from both sides, granted the accused persons bail, Onua FM’s Court correspondent, Lydia Ezit reports
The Court said the bail is subject to “how speedy the prosecution will pursue the matter” and warned prosecutors it will be compelled to release the passport of the accuse to them should there be any delays, she added.
Arguments: Written by Lydia Ezit
Arguing for the accused persons to be granted bail, Mr. Owusu-Fordjour said it his clients were ready to avail themselves for the trial, noting “I supervised them on their charge statement, voluntarily willing to come to court at their free will”,
He contended that military training is a special exercise only conducted by the military which he said involves the use of how to fire Ak 47, assemble and dissemble, hence it cannot be the case that the people who walk on Aburi mountain and jog down or those who do push-ups are doing military training
We just cannot say that such people are doing military training, he said adding “my lord these gentlemen came on the ticket of the NPP, invited by the security officer to train the bodyguards of Nana Addo and his running mate and their spouses”. He said the leader of the accused persons, Chris Nazir was here in 2012 to train Akufo-Addo’s bodyguards.
Mr Owusu-Fordjour said the BNI and the police did not discover any illegal weapons on them upon their arrest.
“The facts presented here does not support the charges preferred on them,” he added, and prayed the court to grant them bail, especially so when the three ex-cops have denied the charges against them which are misdeamour.
“They are not harmful when granted bail. They will report to court for trial. If denied [bail] they will lose their source of income,” Mr Owusu-Fordjour said.
One of the Police prosecutors, Supt. Francis Baah said the security agencies should have been informed of the arrival of the three before their entry into the country.
He argued that the facts indicated they taught military tactics, which should be of great importance. He prayed the court to deny the bail request on the basis that the accused persons are staying in a hotel and have no fix abode which is a requirement of bail.
He thus prayed the court for 14 days to get to the bottom the case.
But responding, one of the lawyers for the accused, Mr Atta AKyea opposed the argument by the prosecutor, and queried: “When civilians are training, you call it military?”
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|tv3netwrok.com|Ghana