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08.07.2003 General News

Witness criticises Rawlings' statement

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Accra, July 8, GNA - Mr. Anthony Mensah Fynn of Kanda Estate in Accra on Tuesday said it was never right for Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings to tell him in 1979, that he (Rawlings) had sacrificed his son, Anthony Fynn, for the progress of Ghana.

Testifying before the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) that resumed public hearing in Accra, Mr Fynn said Flt. Lt. Rawlings, then Chairman of the erstwhile Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), also had children who could also have been sacrificed to make Ghana better.

Led in evidence by Mr George William Sykes, Mr Fynn said a day after the June Four 1979 military coup two armed soldiers came to his house about 1100 hours, forcibly opened his door and entered his room. They searched the room and took his suitcases, watches and other valuable items away.

After 45 minutes, another group of armed soldiers came to the house, explaining they were from the Flagstaff House to investigate a case of stealing the soldiers who came there earlier had committed.

He said the five soldiers were drunk. They soon started firing, and in the process, his son, Anthony Fynn, dropped dead from bullets from the soldiers.

"As soon as they shot the boy, they got into the car and sped off," Mr Fynn said.

He added that he later found that there were bullet hole at the navel and back of little Fynn, who was then a pupil of Aggrey Memorial International School at Kanda in Accra.

He said he made a report of the death of his son to the Nima Police Station, but the police failed to come for the body.

He therefore, conveyed the body himself to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for preservation but doctors and nurses were on strike. He said upon the advice of a nurse, he forced his way through dead bodies and deposited his child in the mortuary.

Mr. Fynn, who said he was an electrician, told the Commission that he used to undertake contracts at the Burma Camp.

He said he reported the incident to Flt Lt. Rawlings who did not ask him of the culprits, but said I have sacrificed my son and I would see that Ghana would progress.

He said he petitioned the military authorities, but gave the matter up after two years when he did not have any reply.

He said he consulted one Lawyer Mintah for assistance on his case, but that was also to no avail.

According to Mr Fynn, the bullets the second group of soldiers fired penetrated the window of his room and some of the particles got into the eyes of his wife, who was then pregnant.

She found it difficult with the delivery of the child and has since become hypertensive.

She is now in Britain and still receiving medical attention, which is financed by an elder son who is a medical doctor.

Mr Fynn said it was his hope and prayer that coups should not happen again.

Commissioner Prof. Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu remarked that it was necessary that the name of little Anthony Fynn was recognised and honoured if he died for the progress of Ghana.

Madam Juliana Dogbe, a resident at Kotobabi Abavana Down in Accra, who used to sell porridge, told the Commission that a few weeks after the military coup of June Four, 1979, a young man came to buy garden eggs from her late mother.

She said the young man was not satisfied with the price and after disclosing his identity as a soldier arrested her mother, packed all the garden eggs available into a basket and sent her mother to Burma Camp. Madam Dogbe said at about 1300 hours, the soldier returned with a vehicle and three other soldiers and also arrested her with a bread seller, Amy Fianu and sent them to the Burma Camp.

At Burma Camp when she questioned why she had been brought there, a soldier used glowing cigarette butts to burn her arms and this had left permanent scars of burns on her arms.

"After burning me with the butts, he told me to undress, but I resisted and removed only the top."

She said one soldier fetched a container of dirty soapy water in which an army dress had been washed and poured it on her.

She said after that the soldiers beat them with canes and electric cables.

She said she and Amy Fianu were shaven with broken bottle, and a cut she had had left a permanent scar on her head.

According to Madam Dogbe, they were also given the raw garden eggs to chew.

She said after the torture, they were asked to go home.

A soldier offered them a lift to the 37 Military Hospital where Amy was treated and discharged.

Madam Dogbe said she also went to the Hospital's dispensary and was given some medication, but after coming home, her condition became worse.

Her pains intensified and her complexion became like soot.

Her husband, who happened to be a soldier, took her to the 37 Military Hospital and she went on admission for three months.

She was on admission again later for two more months and has since been going on admission with her husband bearing her expenses. After inspection in a private room, the Commission confirmed the scars on Madam Dogbe's body.

She had scars on the head, dark spots on the arms and loss of four teeth.

Octogenarian urges mutual respect between elderly, youth

Accra, July 8, GNA - A former District Commissioner for Accra, Mr Alfred Adjei Akotor, on Tuesday said the youth and elderly should respect one another.

Octogenarian Mr Adjei Akotor, who testified before a resumed National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) public hearing in Accra, praised the work of the Commission and also asked Ghanaians to be compatriots, to be prepared to sacrifice their life for the nation.

Mr Akotor, a former functionary of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), now has a hearing impairment and attributed that to his incarceration for three-and-a-half years at the Ussher Fort Prison.

Mr Akotor, now resident at Teshie in Accra, said he was invited to the Police Headquarters to give evidence about the arrest of Tawiah Adamafio, Ako Adjei, H. K. Kofi Crabbe and E. C. Quaye, all functionaries of the then CPP after the attempt on Nrumah's life at Kulungugu.

He said he was arrested without charge and thrown into the Usher Fort Prison and was released after the 1966 coup.

He said when he came back from jail, all his property was vandalised and life became very hard for him. He said he had done his best "to recover" his life without success and prayed the Commission for resettlement.

He said he bore nobody a grudge and extolled the virtues Dr Nkrumah, declaring, "Nkrumah is still green in my memory." He said, his arrest was masterminded by enemies.

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