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02.12.2003 General News

Muslim seeks to kneel, pray at NRC

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Accra, Dec. 2, GNA - But for the intervention of Mr Justice Kweku Amua- Sekyi, Chairman of the National Reconciliation Commission, Alhaji Abdul Razak Suberu, a Witness at Tuesday's public hearing in Accra, would have knelt down and done a Moslem act of prayer to thank Allah for his life since 1988, and divine blessing for the Commission.

Alhaji Suberu said he could have died rather than being arrested and incarcerated for two months after he was jailed for nine years, on a false identity for one Aziz Bello, who bailed his former son-in-law, one Muniru Lawal on an 18,000-dollar house deal in 1988.

The Witness wanted to do a public Moslem prayer for his life, and the establishment of the Commission, during his narration, but the NRC Chairman asked him to reserve the prayer, which the Witness again wanted to say after his evidence, but he was again told to do that in private.

Witness said he (Alhaji Suberu) had once stood surety and bailed his son-in-law in a case involving a visa deal, but Lawal jumped the bail, and he was slapped with a 300,000 cedi fine, which was later reduced to 150,000 cedis. According to the Witness, he had stopped his daughter from marrying Lawal, who had taken 18,000 dollars to procure a house for a man, then resident in the United States of America, who Aziz Bello bailed in the case.

He said when Lawal failed to honour the agreement, two soldiers, led by one Blagogee from the Gondar Barracks, picked him from his Kotobabi home, to Gondar Barracks where he was mistakenly taken for Aziz Bello, and interrogated by a panel who wrongly accused him of having bailed Lawal, who had jumped bail in the 18,000- dollar case.

He, after being cleared by Gondar Barracks, was again arrested by two gentlemen, one of whom was one Vincent Okutu, of the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) and again accused of being the said Aziz Bello.

He said, he was later detained for four days at the James Fort Prison, and later one Sgt. Daniel Kuma of the Gondar Barracks, who he had earlier met at the Gondar Barracks, wrongly identified him as the said Aziz Bello, and he was tried and sentenced to pay the 18,000 pounds or nine years in default. Alhaji Suberu said he was unable to pay the said amount and was subsequently sent to the Nsawam Prisons.

However, his relations raised the money after two months, and after payment, he was released.

Witness was emphatic that he was not Aziz Bello and never knew him.

He said he had developed high blood pressure as a result of the ordeal, and prayed the Commission to invite Sgt Kuma to explain why he failed to take surety from the said Aziz Bello, who he (Sgt Kuma) said bailed Lawal.]

Another Witness, Mr Emmanuel Kwadwo Owusu, complained of the interdiction of his late father Mr Benjamin Kwasi Owusu, former General Manager of the Motors Department of the then Ghana National Trading Corporation (GNTC) in 1982.

He said his father was accused of making a bad purchase of watchstraps, but the deal later turned out to be lucrative from which the GNTC benefited.

He said his father spent six months in the cells of the Bureau of National Investigations, but one Mr Fred Oppong, who stood surety for his father rather later conspired with the Gondar Barracks and had him arrested.

Witness said his father, who jumped trial at the High Court, went into exile in Togo for seven years.

He prayed for the de-confiscation of his father's house at Madina.

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