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07.10.2003 General News

I still wonder why they killed my father - Yeyeboy's son

By GNA
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Accra, Oct. 7, GNA - Mr Samuel Agbeko Ahiaku, son of Togbe Akakpo Ahiaku, a fetish priest of Atidzive in the Volta Region, on Tuesday told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) in Accra that he still wondered why his father was abducted and murdered.

Mr Ahiaku told the Commission that four men invited his father, popularly called 'Yeye Boy', in February 1982 for a discussion with then Volta Regional Secretary, Dr Fiagbe at Ho.

He said when they got to the Ho Residency, they were told that the Regional Secretary had come to Accra and that after waiting up to about 2000 hours, the men put his father in a military vehicle under the pretext that they were sending him to Accra for the meeting. This was after they had searched the Chief Fetish Priest and destroyed a talisman and other spiritual objects they took from the father's car.

Mr Ahiaku said on the way to Accra, the soldiers murdered his father in cold blood and burnt the body, which they left on the Accra-Ho road.

The body was later sent to the Ho morgue and again to the Korle-Bu Hospital morgue. He said the family later learnt about the murder and had to send relatives, who disguised themselves, before they could retrieve the charred body from the Korle Bu Mortuary for a private burial.

Mr Ahiaku said the family later heard rumours that ex-Lance Corporal Amedeka and Bombardier Mathias Cudjoe were on the military vehicle that took his father on the journey during which he was killed. Mr Ahiaku said it was unbelievable to learn that L-Cpl Amedeka and Bdr Cudjoe were involved in his father's murder because they the friends of his father.

At one time, Amedeka even approached his father, a well-known transport operator, with a request that he should buy a vehicle for him. He said Bombardier Cudjoe's grandmother was living in his father's house at the time of the abduction and had to flee the community to avoid the wrath of the people.

When he appeared before the Commission some months ago in a different case, Bdr Cudjoe admitted being on the military vehicle that took away Togbe Ahiaku from Ho to Accra, but denied any knowledge of his murder.

Mr Ahiaku said three weeks after the abduction and killing of his father, soldiers raided their community and took seven elders hostage for two weeks during which they tortured them.

The Commission also heard that the soldiers returned to Atidzive three weeks later and destroyed Togbe Ahiaku's shrine, after fruitlessly searching for possible human parts, based on suspicions that YeyeBoy had been involved in ritual murders.

The soldiers were reported to have taken away a substantial amount of money belonging to Yeyeboy after destroying the money safe. They had earlier taken away his Peugeot car, which he drove to the Ho Residency. Mr Ahiaku said the upturns that befell his father led to the collapse of his transport business.

He accused the Police of adopting a lukewarm reaction to the family's complaint to them to investigate his father's abduction and murder. The Police later informed them that they had been asked to destroy the docket on the case, according to him.

Mr Ahiaku said his father's 45 children made up of 23 boys and 22 girls daughters, including a five-day-old baby, faced a lot of hardships, particularly regarding their education, as a result of his death.

He prayed the Commission to resettle them and release all properties confiscated to the family. Mr Ahiaku said he had developed fear for soldiers, and urged the military to work to redeem its image.

Prof Henrietta Joy Mensa-Bonsu, a member of the Commission, said the NRC tried in vain to get the former Regional Secretary to react, and repeated appeals to him to appear to tell his side of the story.

Another Witness, Nana Ayisi Arkoh, Abontendomhene of Adukrom Akwapim, who dealt in stationery at Koforidua, said he was picked up by soldier in 1982 after he won a bid valued at 350,000 cedis to supply stationery and electrical gadgets to the Ho Regional Administration. He said the soldiers accused him of making excessive profit in the deal, and detained him for 18 days, during which he was subjected to beatings and slaps, that, he said, made him to develop hypertension and diabetes.

Nana Arkoh alleged that Mr Yaw Akrasi Sarpong, then Eastern Regional Secretary, ordered the demolishing of his stationery store, as well as that of his colleagues.

Nana Arko said he went out of business for sometime after the military had made him to refund 50,000 cedis profit he was accused of making illegally.

He prayed for resettlement. Imprisoned for buying a car - Witness Accra, Oct 7, GNA - Alhaji Sule Abubakari, unemployed, on Tuesday told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) that he went through a series of imprisonment in 1979 for buying a car from a staff of the Yugoslavian Embassy.

He said Kojic Vetlango, a white man at the Embassy, sold the Datsun140 J to him for 3,000 dollars but the Military later had him detained in Nsawam, Ho, Usher Fort and Anomabo Prisons, without any formal charge, for four years for buying that car.

Alhaji Abubakari, who was formerly trading in second hand goods at the Tema Dry Dock, said he was on June 18 arrested by soldiers, who alleged that the car he bought was an official vehicle.

He said he handed the keys to the Datsun140J that previously had a foreign number plate embossed on it to the soldiers.

He said he was imprisoned from August 17 to October 1 and later transferred to the Air Force Guardroom and then to the Nsawam Prisons. The Witness said he with some other prisoners were, taken to Peduase Lodge where they were interrogated by people hidden behind a screen. He said he was then 42 years old and they sentenced him to 25 years' imprisonment.

Mr Nsonwa Adu Kwabena-Essem, a Journalist and Public Relations Consultant, formerly working with the United States Information Services (USIS), on Tuesday told members of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) that he was arrested and imprisoned in 1982 for allegedly leaking information to the United States.

He said as an Information Officer with the USIS, Security men picked him up on November 24 to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for an alleged visa fraud and spying.

Mr Essem said at the BNI he was alleged to have been involved in the sale of some commodities, adding that he was taken to the Legon Police cells where he slept on a bare mat on the floor for one week. When Ubour Dalafu Labal, a Member of the Commission, asked him how he felt at the moment, Witness replied that he was ready to forgive the perpetrators of those crimes against him.

He, however, expressed regret that those people were not ready to forgive themselves by accepting their mistakes adding that this made it difficult for one to forgive them.

Mr Essem called on the NRC to help him to retrieve his books and documents that were seized by the Security men to enable him to continue writing.

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