Defence Counsel in the ongoing treason trial says that Johannes Zikpi, the signaler with the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) was engaged by Dr Frederick Mac Palm, (the alleged brain behind the coup plot) to fix CCTV camera at his Citadel Hospital.
He said Zipki, who is standing trial with nine others, got to know Dr Mac Palm in early 2017, before the alleged coup plot in 2018, when he needed someone to fix Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at the Hospital, adding he was not drafted to plot a coup.
Detective Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, the investigator in the trial, was under cross-examination by Mr Eric Pongo, the Defence Counsel for Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli.
Counsel said that Colonel Gameli was not the one who introduced Zikpi to Mac Palm in furtherance of the alleged plot to overthrow the Government, adding that the Prosecution had no evidence to back that claim.
Witness disputed it and said Zipki’s statement confirmed that assertion, but counsel said there was nothing in Zikpi’s statement which said Mac Palm recruited Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli for him to also recruit Zikpi.
The Counsel, added, that Zipki knew Mac Palm before the alleged plot began in 2018.
No, my lords, Zikpi got to know Mac Palm through Colonel Gameli, the witness said.
Would you be surprised that Mr Francis Aboagye (of NIB and the witness’ superior) told the Court that Zikpi had been communicating with Mac Palm since November 2017 on Take Action Ghana’s (TAG) issues so the Colonel could not be the one who introduced Zikpi to Mac Palm, the lawyer put in but the witness said he would not be surprised for he knew Mac Palm and Colonel Gameli were communicating on those issues but could not tell when it started.
Counsel said Mac Palm got to know Zikpi when he needed someone to fix CCTV at the Hospital.
He said the meetings Zipki had with Mac Palm and the Colonel were social gatherings they had over beer, things they did every evening after a hard day’s work.
However, the witness said Zikpi rather told him, the investigator, that the three meetings they had were discussions on the overthrow.
Can you tell the Court the nature of the discussions, counsel asked, and the witness said they were about the buying of gotta sets and jamming equipment which would be used to jam all radio stations except that of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation which would be used to announce the takeover.
The Prosecution’s witness also said Zipki in his statement told him that Mac Palm said he was getting the jamming device from overseas: either the United Kingdom or the United States of America.
Witness said Zipki then approached one Sergeant Ghartey of GAF to assist in the buying of the sets, he continued.
Counsel also ascertained whether Colonel Gameli had communicated with Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dr Benjamin Agordzo or Debrah but the witness denied it and said until their arrest, they did not know each other.
Mr Pongo, Defense counsel for Colonel Gameli, also one of the ten accused persons in the alleged coup plot, asked the prosecution whether it stood by its assertion that Dr Frederick Mac Palm did recruit Colonel Gameli to lead the coup plot and the witness said yes.
Asked what the terms of the recruitment were, Detective Chief Inspector Michael Nkrumah, the thirteenth prosecution’s witness said he did not know but the investigative team discovered that Mac Palm informed the Colonel of his intention to overthrow Government and he (Colonel) responded “fantastic,” on their WhatsApp page which was interpreted to mean that he accepted to support Dr Mac Palm.
In a Cross-examination of the witness, Mr Pongo challenged him but the witness insisted that it was the case as the Colonel also introduced Johannes Zikpi to Mac Palm in respect of the treason.
Colonel Samuel Kojo Gameli was Mac Palm’s patient, not a coup plotter, the Counsel told the Court.
Dr Mac Palm, Donya Kafui, Debrah, Zikpi, Colonel Gameli, Warrant Officer Class Two Esther Saan, Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Lance Airforce Corporal Ali Solomon, Corporal Sylvester Akankpewon and ACP Agordzo have been charged for conspiring to overthrow the Government.
This, all the ten have denied and have been granted bail.