Koku Anyidoho charged with treason

The arrested Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress Koku Anyidoho has been charged with treason.

His lawyer Victor Adawudu who confirmed the charge to Joy News, Tuesday, also reported the police as saying the suspect will not be released on bail.

He is likely to spend the night in the custody of the police  for comments government has described as “treasonable.”

He was whisked away from the Police Headquarters to an unknown location, NDC General Secretary Johson Asiedu Nketia told his supporters.

He was waiting for communication from lawyers of the party who were in the company of Anyidoho to officially inform them where the tough-talking Deputy General Secretary has been sent to so they can take their next line of action. Mr Anyidoho was arrested in dramatic fashion Tuesday afternoon at the International Press Centre where the party in collaboration with other individuals was planning a demonstration against the government for ratifying the controversial Ghana-US Military Cooperation agreement.

In an interview on Monday, Anyidoho had suggested the current president, like his father, will be overthrown in a civil revolt which will begin on Wednesday.

“On January 13, 1972, a certain Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong led a movement that removed the Progress Party from power. Busia was the Prime Minister and Akufo-Addo’s father was a ceremonial president. Somebody should tell Nana Akufo-Addo that history has a very interesting way of repeating itself. There’ll be a civil revolt,” Mr Anyidoho said.

His comment has been condemned widely by political commentators.

But the police have moved beyond condemnation. About 16 armed police personnel besieged the International Press Centre and arrested Koku Anyidoho.

He would not be driven to the Police HQ. He rather decided to walk to the HQ which is some meters away from the press centre.

The police obliged him the offer and together they walked to the Police HQ where he was detained until around 8:00pm when he was moved to an unknown location.According to Asiedu Nketia, the police played around with a number of charges including causing fear and panic, high treason before finally settling on treason.

The treason suspect will not be bailed, he also reported the police as saying.

Anyidoho faces death if he is found guilty for the offence but the prosecution will have extra job to prove its case.

In Section 180 of Ghana’s Criminal code “(1) whoever commits treason shall be liable to suffer death. (2) For the purposes of this section, “treason” shall have the meaning assigned to it by clause (3) of Article 3 of the Constitution.* (3) A person who is not a citizen of Ghana shall not be punishable under this section for anything done outside Ghana, but a citizen of Ghana may be tried and punished for an offence under this section wherever committed.”

3) Any person who –

(a) by himself or in concert with others by any violent or other unlawful means, suspends or overthrows or abrogates this Constitution or any part of it, or attempts to do any such act; or

(b) aids and abets in any manner any person referred to in paragraph (a) of this clause; commits the offence of high treason and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to suffer death.

Similar charges slapped on Assin Central Kennedy Agyapong in the past failed to see the light of day. He had made similar comments about declaring war in Ghana during the NDC tenure.

The prosecution then failed to prove its case beyond the mere public utterance by the MP. It is not clear if this prosecution will be able to.