The alleged ringleader of a group of 11 people who allegedly broke into the national headquarters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at dawn on November 23, 2015, yesterday told the Accra Circuit Court that they went to the place because of their displeasure at the suspension of the National Chairman of the party, Mr Paul Afoko.
“We were waiting in front of the party headquarters when policemen came and told us to leave because they had been tasked to protect the premises. The police then surrounded us, marched us to the entrance of the building and arrested us. They then took us to the Accra Regional Headquarters,” he said.
The 11 accused, including a woman, have pleaded not guilty to charges of unlawful entry, unlawful purpose on private premises and causing unlawful damage to the tune of GH¢28,000.
They are currently on bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 each with two sureties.
The alleged ringleader further denied claims by the prosecution that the police recovered three rifles, 36 rounds of ammunition and three machetes from the group.
Danso claimed that the police rather recovered the said weapons and ammunitions from the NPP security forces known as “Invisible Forces.’’
He said to forestall any confrontation with the “Invisible Forces”, a group of retired military officers, who were sympathisers of the party, decided to confront the “Invisible Forces” to allow the “Patriotic Victory 2016’’ to enter the party headquarters.
“When we got there, the leader of the ex-soldiers, known as Morgan, told us they found three rifles, 36 rounds of ammunition and three machetes belonging to one of the members of the “Invisible Forces” called Moro Suleiman,” he further claimed.
When asked the time that the group arrived at the party headquarters, Danso said 5:30 a.m.
He also explained that the group numbered about 149 and arrived at the party offices in buses.
The court adjourned the case and fixed August 21, September 1 and September 2, 2016, as the next dates for the hearing of the case.
The facts of the case as presented by the prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abraham Annor, were that about 2.30 a.m. on November 23, 2015, the police acted on information that some soldiers had invaded the national headquarters of the NPP at Asylum Down in Accra and were causing damage to property.
He said the police rushed to the scene and one of the accused persons, Danso, a retired soldier, together with 10 others, was arrested.
“During investigations and in their respective caution statements, Danso informed the police that he mobilised eight retired officers, all living at Kakasonanka, near Michel Camp, and provided them with military uniforms and took them to the NPP headquarters,” the prosecutor said.
According to DSP Annor, Danso explained that the retired soldiers had information that the NPP security at the party headquarters, known as “Invincible Forces”, had weapons on them and had to be disarmed before they organised a peace meeting between the executive of the party and the suspended Chairman, Mr Paul Afoko, at the party headquarters.