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General News | Apr 26, 2004

Rawlings prevented Boakye Djan From Detaining Me -Bishop

GNA
The Right Reverend (Colonel Retired) Kobina Quarshie, former Anglican Bishop of Cape Coast, has said Flt Lt Jerry Rawlings, prevented Major Boakye Djan from having him detained in the Air Force Guardroom in 1979. Flt-Lt Rawlings was then Chairman, and Major Boakye Djan, Member of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), which ousted the government of General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong on June 4 1979. Testifying before the National Reconciliation Commission on Monday, the Witness, former Commissioner of Trade and Tourism in the Acheampong regime said he went to the Air Force at the invitation of the AFRC. He said the AFRC had asked political office holders in the Acheampong regime to report, after the June Four 1979 coup. The Witness said after his release, he went back to his residence at Jubas Villas at Burma Camp and found his room ransacked, except his cassock, which the looters had had torn.
He said he then took refuge with a friend at Legon, but was picked again together with one Col. Ibrahim and brought to the Burma Camp, where he was tortured till he fell sick and was subsequently hospitalised at the 37 Military Hospital.
Witness said he was taken while on admission at the Hospital, to the Arakan Barracks, drilled and brought before the Preliminary Investigation Team (PIT).
He said when he objected to calling the Chairperson, Capt Sammy Michelle, Sir because it was against Military tradition for a colonel to address a captain Sir, he received slaps from some "chaps" standing around him at a signal from the Chair.
Rt Rev Quarshie said the PIT accused him of using his position as Commissioner to amass wealth, adding that Capt. Michelle also accused him of refusing him a license to own a terrazzo making machine, for which he received more slaps.
Witness also said one Capt. Okaikoi of the PIT, ran pins through his arm, urging him to speak the truth and also for refusing to accept their demand to go on national television to testify against the former Head of State, Colonel Acheampong.
He said, he was sent back to the Hospital but picked again by a group of soldiers, led by Flying Officer Odoi, nicknamed "Angel of Death" to face a kangoroo court, the People's Court at the Peduase Lodge. He said, he recognised the voice of one of the panelists, who sat behind a screen, and read charges and judgements as that of Squadron Leader Kwasi Daagbey.
Rt Rev Quarshie said the Peoples Court sentenced him to 25 years imprisonment, but later reduced it to five years. He said back at the hospital, he used a 'lights out' time to write a letter to Flt Lt Rawlings, explaining his innocence in the alleged offences, and added that he was soon released.
The Witness said while at the hospital, Capt Michelle was brought in very weak by W O Adjei Boadi.
He said the Capt was accused by his "boys" for allegedly taking a bribe from an Australian and had beaten him up.
The Witness said at the time of his release, his assets had been confiscated to the state under PNDC Decree 325. These included a parcel of land at Airport Residential Area which had been given to the late Osofo Komfo Damoah for his Afrikania Missions headquarters, but the Osofo Damoah, sold part of the land to an elder of his Mission.
Witness said the elder had put a building on the land. He prayed the Commission to recommend the deconfiscation of that parcel of land, and a house at Madina, which was also confiscated and given to the Ghana Legion.
He said, his a parcel of land at Asuatuare, and as Volvo car that was seized and later used by one Dr Arthur, Foreign Secretary of late President Limann should also be returned to him.


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