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21.05.2003 General News

Witness: My father died after an injection

By gna
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A witness on Tuesday told the National Reconciliation Commission that his father, Mr Samuel Kofi Lateef died on July 14, 1987 at the 37 Military Hospital after an injection just after lunch.

According to Mr Lateef Abdul Gaffer, prior to that an injection wrongly administered at the left side of his neck had left him paralysed for a year.

He said his father was picked up by the late Warrant Officer Tetteh, former bodyguard of the Chairman of the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) locked up in the Castle Guardroom on a false charge by one Major Hayford, whom his father had dismissed for financial mismanagement.

He said Major Hayford, then employed as General Manager of his father's fishing business, reported his father to General Arnold Quainoo, then Army Commander, that his father was running an illegal business.

According to Mr Gaffer, an instructor in Information Technology who said he was 15 years when his father was arrested in 1986, he had snippets of information from his step-mother and a friend of his father that a Committee headed by one Colonel Osei Wusu to investigate the charges against his father later dropped the allegations.

However, his father was jailed in Nsawam Prisons, where his health deteriorated.

Mr Gaffer said the family petitioned the then Head of State, Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings, General Quainoo, and General Mensah-Wood, the late Army Commander without success.

He said his father was later transferred to the 37 Military Hospital, where the wrong injection that paralysed him was administered.

He said aside his father's ill health, their three cars were frozen. He added that he later learned that General Akafia ordered the released of 22 of their 80 cows.

Mr Gaffer said they hired the services of one Lawyer Fugah, who informed them that he had been asked to pay 109 million cedis before his father would be released. However, his sick father maintained that he was in no position to raise the money.

They also approached the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice but it dismissed their application on the grounds that it had no proper evidence.

Commissioner the Most Rev Charles Palmer-Buckle said Mr Gaffer must make it a determination to pursue the truth about his father's death. He said the Commission should not be the end of his pursuit for justice, and urged him to do a lot more investigation to get the medical report on the autopsy of his late father.

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