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05.11.2003 General News

I didn't know about the death of 'Yeyeboy' - Dr Fiagbe

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Accra, Nov. 5, GNA - Nicholas Isaiah Yao Fiagbe, First Regional Secretary of the Volta Region in the regime of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), on Wednesday denied ever knowing of the death of three prominent chiefs in the region in 1982, during his seven-month tenure.

He said he only got to know of the death some years later, through a friend, who informed him that he (Dr Fiagbe) had been linked to the death in a book.

Dr Fiagbe, who lectures Pharmacy at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, added that though he was a scholar, he was yet to challenge the author of that book to prove any factual error that links him to the death.

The three chiefs, Torgbui Akakpovi Ahiaku alias Yeye Boy, who was also a prominent fetish priest, Sampson Kwawu, and Togbe Kpe of Tsiame, died under bizarre circumstances in February 1982.

Dr Fiagbe was giving evidence at Wednesday's sitting of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) in Accra.

Lawyer Allotei Mingle, Head of the NRC Legal Affairs Department, led him in evidence.

Dr Fiagbe gave terse answers to question on his knowledge of the death of the three, and also knowledge or linkage with three soldiers, Bombadier Cudjoe, L/Cpl Amedeka and Sgt. Agorha.

The Witness admitted meeting Bombadier Cudjoe and L/Cpl Amedeka, and added that he remembered meeting the two with one other, whom he said, he could not remember as Agorha.

These three persons were at the Residency at Ho to interview the late Awoamefia of Anlo Traditional Area, Togbi Adeladza II. Dr Fiagbe insisted on his ignorance of the death of the three prominent chiefs, but added that he instructed the Police to summon Togbi Adeladza, who he described as an uncle for an interview at the Ho Residency.

"I could recollect I had a message to ask Togbi to come to the Residency for an interview," he said, and added he gave further instructions for the Awoamefia to come with his elders, and the chief obliged.

The Witness said as the Togbi was about to answer a question from the three, on the death of General Kotoka, one of the interviewers, whom he called "chaps", slapped the chief.

"I think Amedeka did that," Dr Fiagbe said.

Dr Fiagbe said he stopped the interview, and objected to a request by the "chaps" to send the chief to Accra to continue the interview and arranged for the chief and his elders to be driven back to Anloga.

According to Dr Fiagbe, he later apologised to his uncle for that event, but declined to tell the Commission of the Awoamefia's reaction to the slap. " I would not like to discuss that. That is a sacred secret between us", Dr Fiagbe said."

He said it was not true that he was removed from office for saving the life of Togbi Adeladza, and allowed the three others to be killed, but he rather left office on a Sabbatical leave.

The Witness told the Commission that he met Bombadier Cudjoe once when he came to greet him when on an operation in the Volta Region. On a second occasion when the Bombadier was at the Residency, he invited him (Dr Fiagbe) to a secret location and told him of a plan by some five people, including himself (Bombadier Cudjoe) to assassinate the then Chairman of the PNDC, so that he (Dr Fiagbe) would be made the Chairman, but some elements were against that.

Asked why he did not take action against a threat on his life, Dr Fiagbe replied: "Unless God protects you, nobody can protect you." He said he never caused the arrest of Bdr Cudjoe, neither did he inform the security apparatus of the plan to assassinate the PNDC Chairman.

He said he rather phoned the Chairman with that message, and the Chairman told him: "We are talking to him (Bdr Cudjoe)" adding that "talking to him" meant he had been arrested.

"I thought that was the best thing I could do. It did not occur to me to cause his arrest," he said, and added that he was not briefed on the security situation in the region during his term of office.

Dr Fiagbe said upon his appointment, which was made from the PNDC Headquarters, Mr Chris Atim of the Headquarters, only gave him a "PDC Guidelines" to operate with as Regional Secretary.

He said much as he expected more than "PDC Guidelines", "nobody was prepared to listen to your expectations."

Asked whether he did not have his ears on the ground for the security situation, he replied: "Take it that I did not have my ears on the ground."

"Somebody will have to advise you, and there was nobody", he said. Commissioner Most Rev Charles Palmer Buckle, who wears a beard, commended the Witness who also wears a beard, and affirmed to tell the truth in his evidence, on his resolute faith in God.

However, when the Commissioner asked him what religion he practiced, Dr Fiagbe asked: "My brother, why do you want to know? That's very personal to me." GNA

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