Six individuals from Ghana, among whom were three soldiers, have been condemned to death by hanging for their roles in a coup conspiracy that unfolded three years ago.
Marking Ghana’s first treason trial since 1966, when the nation’s founding father, Kwame Nkrumah, was ousted, this case has gripped the attention of the populace.
In 2021, the six were apprehended in Accra, the capital, allegedly in the midst of weapons testing aimed at toppling the sitting government.
The defendants, which included a gunsmith, entered pleas of not guilty during a trial that held the nation spellbound. Legal representatives have vowed to contest the ruling in the Supreme Court.
Three others, among them a high-ranking police officer and two military personnel, were acquitted of the charges.
Security presence was notably robust outside the High Court in Accra during the sentencing proceedings.
The court, after deliberation, found the six guilty of high treason and conspiracy to commit the same. Court documents revealed they were apprehended in possession of locally crafted firearms, makeshift explosive devices, and AK-47 rifles.
State prosecutors alleged the group had devised plans to orchestrate protests, ostensibly with the aim of undermining President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government in the lead-up to the 2020 general elections.
Citing intercepted communications and compelling testimonies, the court upheld the evidence against the accused.
Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame, heading the prosecution, hailed the court’s verdict as “momentous,” stressing the sanctity of Ghana’s constitution in upholding governmental stability and condemning any efforts to subvert it.
Ghana’s last execution took place in 1992, following the restoration of democratic governance. Notably, lawmakers in the previous year voted to abolish the death penalty for common crimes, replacing it with life imprisonment.