Tema — The Tema High Court yesterday granted GH₵2 million bail with two sureties to Oliver Barker-Vormawor, 36, convener of the #FixTheCountry Movement, charged with treason felony.
One of the sureties was to deposit documents on a landed property at the court, and passport of accused was to remain with the police.
Barker-Vormawor would report once in a week to the police station on a day to be determined by the investigator handling the case.
Before granting the bail, the presiding Judge, Justice Daniel Mensah, admonished Ghanaians to uphold democracy and grasp the fact that no matter how they felt about a regime, coup d’etat could not be an option.
He said the 1992 Constitution mandates Ghanaians to defend the constitution, adding “though l will encourage activism, it is my expectation that those engaging in it should know their limit.”
Mr Barker-Vormawor, who has been charged for treason felony, was arrested on February 11, 2022, for allegedly posting on social media platform that he would stage a coup if the E-Levy Bill (Electronic Levy) is passed by Parliament.
Police said his “post contained a clear statement of intent with a possible will to execute a coup in his declaration of intent to subvert the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
In an application for bail moved by Mr Barker-Vormawor’s lawyers, the lead Counsel, Akoto Ampaw, said although he conceded that the pronouncement of his client could be deemed “reckless and condemnable,” the prosecution was unable to show the applicant was prepared to carry through his threats, albeit conditional.
He said the prosecution jumped the gun and that the police ought to have monitored him to see whether he could stage a coup.
Mr Ampaw told the court that the accused had a fixed place of abode and would avail himself to stand trial if granted bail.
Ms Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney, said the applicant had demonstrated the intent to stage a coup.
She said the applicant after his Facebook post came to Ghana to prepare and carry out his intention and so when granted bail would not avail himself.
The court in arriving at the decision to grant bail took into consideration the fact that the applicant being a PHD student in the United Kingdom needed his passport to travel back to the United Kingdom to continue his studies.
Some members of #FixTheCountry Movement, who gathered near the court, sang patriotic songs on hearing that the accused had been granted bail.
One of them, Ms Felicity Nelson, said they were happy that Mr Barker-Vormawor had been granted bail. She said the movement’s unity had been strengthened by the incarceration of a colleague and members would continue to expose the injustices in the system.
On Tuesday, Justice Srem Sai, lead counsel for Barker-Vormawor, prayed the Ashiaman District Magistrates Court to discharge his client since the state prosecution had shown lack of interest in the case and there was absence summary of evidence.
This was when the prosecutor handling the case, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Sylvester Asare, failed to show up when the case was called for hearing at about 9:00 am.