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08.07.2003 General News

"I was Wrongly Accused Of Bomb Throwing"

By Graphic
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A FORMER District Commissioner in the First Republic, Mr Alfred Akortor Adjei, yesterday told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), that he and some colleagues of his were detained for more than three years based on rumours that they were behind the various bomb throwing aimed at ousting Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

Testifying before the resumed Accra hearings of the NRC, Mr Adjei said he was arrested alongside Dr Ako Adjei, Mr Tawiah Adamafio, Mr Kofi Crabbe and detained at the Usher Fort Prison under the Protective Detention Act (PDA), for being allegedly behind the bomb throwing at Kulungugu, Arena and the Flagstaff House.

He said they were released after the military had overthrown Dr Nkrumah.

Mr Adjei said although his detention wrecked his life and made it impossible for him to educate his children to the best of his ability, he still admires Dr Nkrumah as a great visionary who genuinely championed the cause of Ghana and Africa.

He said he is of the conviction that all the bombs that were thrown at Dr Nkrumah were orchestrated by his enemies and not those they arrested.

When asked if he is still a member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), he answered in the negative. He said he was not a member of any other political party.

Mr Adjei, who told the commission that he is the only surviving member of those detained for the bomb throwing, said he now lives on charity because all attempts to start life afresh failed.

On his part, Mr Anthony Mensah Fynn, a technician, said his seven-year-old son, Anthony Fynn, was killed by a stray bullet of a soldier who had come with four others to investigate an incident in his house in 1979 after the events of June 4.

He told the commission that prior to the incident, two soldiers had come to ransack his house and that the five soldiers came to investigate the incident 45 minutes after the two had left.

Mr Fynn said soon after the shooting, the soldiers ran away in a standby vehicle and that he later reported the matter to the Nima Police before taking the body of his son to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

According to him, when he sought audience with Flt Lt J. J. Rawlings, the Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, to complain about the incident, he allegedly told him (Fynn) that his son had been sacrificed for the progress of the nation.

Another petitioner, Madam Juliana Dogbey, narrated how she was picked up alongside a bread seller to Burma Camp and maltreated.

She told the commission that her mother was arrested and taken to Burma Camp for allegedly selling vegetables at exorbitant prices.

She said she and the bread seller were tortured and shaved with a broken bottle ostensibly for being daughters of her detained mother.

Madam Dogbey said her mother was not harassed or tortured in any way by the soldiers.

She showed the commissioners a scar of a wound on her forehead she sustained while being shaved with the broken bottle and also black spots on her hands which she said were as a result of cigarette burns.

Another petitioner, Madam Afua Gyesiwa, a baker from Nungua, told the commission that she was shot by a naval officer, Petty Officer Nortey at the Tema Fishing Harbour on June 6, 1979.

She said the bullet hit her left side and came out through her back.

Madam Gyesiwa said, she had gone to the harbour to collect money owed her by one Esi, when the incident occurred.

She said she was first rushed to the Tema General Hospital but because of her condition, she was referred to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, where she was operated upon.

Madam Gyesiwa said apart from a visit from two naval officers while she was on admission at the Korle-Bu, no compensation was paid to her and she had to pay for all her medical bills.

She said though the incident was reported to the Tema Harbour Police, who came to the hospital to take her statement, nothing was done about the case and later she got to know that the naval officer had also died.

On his part, Ebenezer Atta Bediako from Kasoa, appealed to the commission to recommend that political detainees should be separated from the regular prisoners in the prisons.

He said he was a member of the Progress Party and after the overthrow of the Busia administration, he was arrested and detained at the Akuse and Nsawam prisons for a period of three months.

According to him, he was a trader at the time and while in prison some soldiers went to his shop at Somanya and sold out all his goods worth about £400 and took the money away.

Mr Bediako said since then, life has not been the same. He has become partially blind, adding he was not able to cater for his children.

He said he took a loan from the Ghana Commercial Bank and used his building plan as a collateral but even though he had paid the loan, the document has not been given to him.

He, therefore, pleaded with the commission to assist him to recover it

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