An Accra High Court yesterday heard how Dr. Frederick MacPalm, a medical doctor at Citadel Hospital at Alajo in Accra, masterminded the plot to overthrow the Nana Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government and usurp the executive powers of the country.
The prosecution’s second witness, Major General Nicholas Peter Andoh, told the court that analysis of a joint surveillance mounted by the Ghana Armed Forces, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the National Security revealed that the medical doctor was the brain behind the coup and that “he took practical steps to recruit military and police officers through BB (Bright Alan Debrah) to advance his cause.”
The witness, who is the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, led in his witness-in-chief by the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, told the court how Dr. MacPalm provided his Citadel Hospital to be used for the manufacturing of weapons to advance their plans to overthrow the government.
Major General Andoh also told the court how the joint taskforce managed to infiltrate the camp of the group, with some of the operatives being used as sick people and had them admitted to the Citadel Hospital as patients.
Major General Andoh, in his evidence-in-chief, stated that Dr. MacPalm turned his hospital which was meant to save lives into a weapon manufacturing place to produce weapons that could cause destruction.
“The overall summary of my submission, based on the information that got to me from my operatives, BNI and the WhatsApp extractions from their telephones and my analysis is that, Dr. MacPalm was the main brain behind the plot to overthrow the government. He took practical steps to recruit military and police officers through BB to advance his cause. He also took steps to procure and manufacture weapons that could cause harm. When the IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) were taken for testing by the experts, their report was that, each of the IEDs could kill or cause damage to anybody within 200 metres of the point of impact. He provided his hospital, which was meant to treat human beings, for the production of IEDs which could cause destruction,” Major General Andoh told the court.
The witness told the court about how the Ghana Armed Forces, the BNI and National Security decided to embark on a joint surveillance in order to unearth the plans and activities of the accused persons, who were in discussion to overthrow the government.
“At that meeting, it was decided that we were going to mount a joint surveillance and this surveillance will involve recordings of their meetings, infiltration into their WhatsApp and their communication, and the planting of intelligence on their key operatives, particularly Dr. MacPalm and BB.
“On the basis of that, I released video and audio recording devices of my department to Col. Amponsah to coordinate the recording of the meetings while the director of BNI detailed operatives to follow Dr. MacPalm to wherever he went including operatives, who reported sick and were admitted to the Citadel Hospital out of which Dr. MacPalm divulged a lot of information to the operatives.”
Major General Andoh also outlined some of the important meetings held by the accused persons at various venues where they discussed among other things how to carry out the coup, and how to capture or block some key installations in the country in order for their plans to succeed.
He said on June 22, 2018, WOII Esther Saan, Lance Corporal Sylvester Akanpewon, Lance Corporal Ali Solomon, Lance Corporal Seidu Abubakar, Corporal Awaf, Corporal Nazima and Corporal Zakari attended a meeting at the Next Door Beach Resort at Teshie where Bright Alan Debrah “sought to convince the soldiers to believe in the cause by stating that the coup plot that they were embarking on was in the interest of the soldiers and their families and that those in the helm of affairs of the country only thought about their pockets, and indicated that there was mass corruption.
“He indicated that the country was not ready for democracy and cited the discipline that the JJ Rawlings 1979 coup brought to the country. He also indicated to the soldiers that the 1979 coup was led by the junior rank before the senior officers came on board.”
Major General Andoh continued that on July 7, 2018, another meeting was “chaired by BB and attended by Mama G, Corporal Awarf, Sgt. Natorna, Corporal Zakari. At this meeting, BB again emphasised the need for the soldiers to believe in the cause. He gave assurance that they will be handsomely rewarded financially, and that the senior officers and other big men were available to provide leadership. Mama G indicated that the President must be eliminated. She mentioned the name of the President, Nana Akufo-Addo. This is captured on video.”
“They also mentioned the need to neutralise the Air Force Base, the Base Ordinance Depot and block certain major roads.”
He said a July 9, 2018, meeting was held at a drinking spot at Teshie La Scala and attended by BB, Corporal Awarf and Sylvester Akanpewon.
“At the meeting, the main discussion was on the sketch of the areas to be captured and attacked. The team was asked to come out with the weapons and logistics required, and the number of personnel required to block or capture the locations that were selected. At the end, BB told the other two that he was going to send the sketch to his boss, Dr. MacPalm, and the senior officers to review.”
“After the July 28, 2018 meeting, the effort of Dr. MacPalm and BB shifted to the establishment of a group they called ‘Take Action Ghana’. A WhatsApp platform was established by BB in the afternoon of August 2018, and the objective, as stated and reported, was to galvanise support across the country for the message of change. It was also to mobilise funds and undertake outreach programmes which will win the hearts and minds of the local population as a smoke screen for their intended violent overthrow.”
Major General Andoh further told the court that Alan Debrah and Corporal Awarf held another meeting on April 18, 2019 which centered on some other meetings that had taken place about whether to kill the President, or capture him.
He said the two contemplated that “if they captured the President, they will have difficulty where they were going to keep him until he announced his overthrow and then the security agencies will react. A discussion was also made on how to monitor the movement of the President. There was a suggestion from BB to procure a motorbike which will follow the President wherever he went to in order track his movement”.
He said they also suggested recruiting somebody from Jubilee House who will follow the President wherever he went.
He said on July 28, 2019, Donya Kafui, was brought to Accra from Alavanyo in the Volta Region to manufacture bombs and pistols.
He said they “discussed the materials that will be required for the production of the bombs and the pistols. Dr. MacPalm said he was going to add sedative material which will cause sedation within a certain radius of a point of impact of the IEDs.”
Dr. MacPalm offered the X-ray room of the hospital for the production of the weapons while Donya Kafui gave the cost of the production to be GH¢4,000, which was given to him.