The government has explained that a joint security operation, which led to the arrest of three persons at Alajo in Accra last Friday, neutralised “an elaborate plot targeted at the Presidency, and with the ultimate aim of destabilising the country”.
A statement issued in Accra yesterday and signed by the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the joint security operation by personnel drawn from the Defence Intelligence, Police CID and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) at the Citadel Hospital was successful.
He gave the names of those arrested as Dr Frederick Yao Mac-Palm and his two accomplices, Ezor Kafui (a local weapon manufacturer) and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu, alias BB or ADC.
The suspects, according to the statement, formed a group called “Take Action Ghana” (TAG), under the guise of mobilising the youth for nation-building, education, health and providing shelter for the needy.
However, it said, evidence available showed the intent was to build a support base of young people and radicalise them against the political authority in Ghana.
Arms and explosives
The security agencies also retrieved several arms, explosive devices and ammunition from locations in Accra and Bawaleshie, near Dodowa.
According to the statement, the arrest and seizure came after 15 months of surveillance and gathering of evidence on the activities of the prime suspects and others.
It mentioned the items retrieved from the operation in Accra as five locally manufactured pistols with magazines fitted on, one foreign pistol (Reg. No. PX154006) with two magazines, three locally manufactured pistol barrels, three smoke grenade, 22 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), nine 7.62mm NATO AK47 rounds, two AK47 magazines, one long knife and 63 pieces of nine millimetre NATO rounds.
According to the statement, surveillance on the activities of the persons involved commenced in June, 2018, when Dr Mac-Palm and Ofosu started organising a series of meetings at the Next-Door Beach Resort at Teshie and other locations in Accra, in furtherance of their objectives.
It said between June and August 2018, Ofosu, acting for and on behalf of Dr Mac-Palm, contacted a number of serving military personnel, and talked them into hatching and executing a plot to obtain weapons, take over key installations and secure funding for the purpose of taking over the reins of government.
“These meetings were closely monitored,” the statement added.
However, the statement said, in August 2018, Dr Mac-Palm and two others, Kennedy Amoah and Dr Albert Sam (based in the USA), formed a group called “Take Action Ghana” under the guise of mobilising the youth for nation-building, education, health, and providing shelter to the needy.
“Evidence available shows the intent was to build a support base of youth and radicalise them against the political authority in Ghana, and in furtherance of this scheme, Dr Mac-Palm contracted one Mr Ezor from Alavanyo to produce locally made weapons and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for the operation,” it stated.
The statement further indicated that in July 2019, Ezor set up a workshop in a container, originally being used as an X-Ray laboratory, on the premises of Citadel Hospital, and started producing the weapons and IEDs in-house.
“However, on September 10, 2019, Dr Mac-Palm and Ezor procured, from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, some essential chemicals to be mixed with gunpowder, stone chippings, surgical needles and powdered pepper for their operations.
“Dr Mac-Palm also contracted a worker at the Base Workshop in Burma Camp to supply 10 AK 47 rifles and made an advance payment of GH¢7,000 and on Thursday, September 19, 2019, around 2300 hours, still under surveillance, Dr Mac-Palm, Mr Ezor and one soldier went to an area close to the Laboma Beach to test some of the locally manufactured weapons,” the statement said.
The following day, September 20, 2019, a team of security personnel undertook the operation, which led to the arrest of Dr Mac-Palm and his accomplices and the subsequent retrieval of the items listed above.
According to the statement, the state security agencies had assured the public of the safety and security of the nation.
“The government of Ghana will also continue with efforts to provide the necessary logistics and motivation to the security agencies for intelligence gathering, capacity building and other operations to protect the country from terrorism, subversive activities and other violent crimes,” it said.