An Accra High Court on Tuesday granted a self-recognizance bail of GHC500,000.00 to Assistant Superintendent of Police (ACP) Dr. Benjamin Agordzo, who has been charged with nine others for treason felony.
He is to report twice in a week to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) or his representative for three months, then once a week after the period.
The Court presided over by Justice Charles Ekow Baiden also ordered ACP Agordzo to report to the Director of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) once a week for three months.
He was to hand over his passport to the Registrar of the Court and be issued with a receipt and the Registrar should also serve both the IGP and the BNI with certified copies of the Court’s orders.
The Court in ruling on the bail application said the Attorney General (AG) had failed to convince the Court on why it should not grant the applicant bail.
Justice Baiden said by keeping him in custody would be against his liberty because it has not been proven that he would interfere with investigations and also fail to attend court, adding that, the applicant has not demonstrated that he would jump bail since his arrest.
The affidavit of ACP Agordzo stated that what he shared on that platform had been shared on official platforms and other responsible Civil Society Organisations’ platforms as well as some public lectures, showing that he is a believer of democracy and advises people to choose their leaders.
The affidavit further said he is a responsible citizen who had served in the Police Service for 31 years in areas such as Parliamentary Protection Unit, SWAT, Highway, among others.
The Court said it was not impressed with the arguments put in by the prosecution that the accused would not appear to stand trial and also that the applicant would interfere with witnesses as mere speculations.
The Court said the time when some offences such as treason, rape, piracy and defilement were not bailable is over after the Supreme Court’s ruling and that mandates the courts to use their discretion to grant bail.
It said the applicant furnished the court with eight persons including a Reverend Minister and nine landed property as justification.
Mr. Martin Kpebu, his counsel, in December 2019 applied for bail but it was adjourned to early January with the reason that it was short served, then moved the application on January 16 when the application was moved, and then, adjourned to January 21, for a ruling.
In moving the application, he said the applicant was arrested on November 4, 2019, after he was invited by BNI and later charged with abetment of treason felony.
He said the court can grant bail because prosecution had finished with its investigations and the docket had been sent to the AG for advice thus, the accused would come for trial whenever the State was ready.
His Counsel said the accused was not a flight risk because he was not only a senior officer in the Police Service but also a husband and father of grown-up children who are working in reputable institutions and can stand as sureties.
Ms. Hilda Craig, Principal State Attorney opposed the application with the reasons that for a senior security officer to instigate people in the process of overthrowing the government which he termed, as “Arab Spring” was unacceptable and “we all know how serious Arab Spring was”.
She said some investigations and not all was complete, therefore he would interfere with further investigations as a senior police officer.
“The accused person will intimidate junior ranks within the Police, Military and Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) who will testify against him. “His rank, demeanour and action will put fear in the juniors,” she added.
Justice Baiden asked the State Attorney, how the accused would do that, and she said his past conduct where he refused to appear before the District Court in mufti because the matter was between an individual and the State though he was advised not to, shows that he would not comply with other orders of the Court when granted bail.
The accused also reluctantly handed over his security gadgets when ordered by the Court to do so, she told the Court.
The judge said the Court’s order to seize the gadgets was too opened and that it should have been specific on the purpose, among others.
His counsel said his client did not resist the seizure of his gadgets but wanted to go through due process, saying that denial of bail would be curtailing his liberty which constituted human rights violation under both local and international laws.