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14.03.2009 General News

Edumadze beats retreat over assault denials

By The Ghanaian Chronicle

The former Central Regional Minister and former Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam constituency, Isaac Eduasor Edumadze, who instigated the beating of the Daily Graphic correspondent in the region has beaten a hasty retreat after several months of outright denial.

Mr. Edumadze, who was christened “Hercules” by the Ghanaian Chronicle for his involvement in a number of violent-related cases is said to have engaged the services of Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cape Coast to go and apologize to the Graphic reporter, Mr. Joe Okyere, with an admission of guilt after realizing the mistake he committed at the time.

Though Edumadze is said to have gone to the extent of making an offer to pay a form of compensation to Joe Okyere, the latter declined, for the simple reason that his integrity and conscience cannot be bought.

The beating became a topical issue and was discussed at the Emergency General Meeting of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in Accra on Friday.

Whilst the likes of Nana Kofi Coomson, Publisher of The Chronicle newspaper and Kobla Ali Kukubor of the Volta Regional Branch of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) kicked against any decision to settle the matter out of court, the General Manager in charge of Newspapers, of the Graphic Group of Companies, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo and Mr. Ebo Sackey, the Central Regional Chairman of the GJA disagreed. To them, there was no need in dragging the issue since the individuals involved have expressed their willingness to resolve their difference in the interest of peace.

What Mr. Boadu-Ayeboafo objected to was a settlement of the issue without the knowledge and consent of the management of Graphic as a corporate entity, since they are the employers of the victim in question. He noted that when Mr. Anthony Vinokor and a cameraman were assaulted by some staff members of the Tema Development Corporation, management were fully involved in the settlement of the case.

Mr. Kofi Coomson, however, argued that a mere apology and compensation from Edumadze would not resolve the issue, since the former MP has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that he has a penchant for violence, and that the law must be allowed to take its course.

According to the Publisher of The Chronicle newspaper, if the case was not properly handled, it would encourage others to attack journalists without any justifiable cause. He hinted that Edumadze was reportedly nursing an ambition of running for the position of National Organizer for a political party, and wondered what would happen if he won such an enviable position.

Somewhere last year, Mr. Edumadze reportedly assaulted Mr. Joe Okyere at his Ejumako residence in the Central Region after he accompanied his colleague, Mr. Philip Baidoo to greet the former Minister.

Mr. Baidoo's account was that when they got to the house, Edumadze was not around and so they decided to leave. As they were leaving, he indicated that they saw Mr. Edumadze entering his compound and so he got down from his car to say hello.

After speaking with Edumadze for a while, Baidoo made it known to him that he was in the company of Okyere.

Upon hearing that Mr. Okyere was in the car, Mr. Edumadze was said to have gone haywire, opened the car, dragged him out and started assaulting him because of what he perceived as bad stories written against him.

Though Mr. Okyere managed to free himself from the furious Edumadze, the former MP ordered his macho men who were also in the house, to lock the gate to prevent him from escaping.

Mr. Baidoo said he had to intervene by holding Mr. Edumadze at bay, to stop him from persistently assaulting Mr Okyere. He said at a point the two of them fell on the ground but he managed to pin Mr. Edumadze down, maintaining that he was the one who had brought Mr. Okyere to the compound and so if Edumadze wanted to kill Mr. Okyere then he should kill him (Mr. Baidoo) first.

Mr. Edumadze was then reported to have branded Mr. Okyere as an intruder and reported him and Baidoo to the police.

The macho men then bundled Mr. Okyere into Edumadze's car to the police station, where Mr. Baidoo, Mr. Okyere and one of Edumadze's boys all wrote police statements.