28.04.2004 General News

Witness tells NRC of strange death of his father

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Accra, April 28, GNA- Mr Kwabena Opoku-Addae, a witness, on Wednesday told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) that his father, step-mum and siblings, died under strange circumstances in Algeria on April 7 1983.

The Witness, who limped on clutches to the witness seat of the Commission, was not convinced that the member of his family died through gas poisoning, and apparently suspected foul play. He prayed the Commission to recommend an enquiry to establish the true cause of the deaths.

He also prayed the Commission to recommend assistance for his medication and also to enable him further his education above the Senior Secondary School (SSS) level.

The four deceased persons were his father Mr Emmanuel Affram Opoku Addai, formerly of the Ministry of Trade, on secondment as Commercial Counsellor in the Ghana Embassy in Algeria, step-mum Mrs Akua Dankwa Opoku-Addae, and step-siblings Kojo Opoku-Addae and Akua Dankwa Opoku-Addae.

They never got up from their sleep after a night's farewell party at the end his father's duty tour.

Mr Opoku-Addae said the Ministry of Trade helped in the burial of the family members, but was yet to pay his father's benefits. Witness, who said he was six years at the time of the incident, said his grandmother who took care of him after the demise of his father later also died of trauma.

He said he now stays at New Achimota in Accra, and his mother, who has re-married, is in Kumasi, and added that a sister of his step-mum, from who he had most of the information, had been taking care of him. Mr Opoku-Addae said he completed SSS one in 1996, with Aggregate 12 and hopes to further his education. "I wish I can be a pharmacist," he said. He said he suffered jaundice three years and lived in coma for 35 days, and at the time he came the doctor said he had developed a deformity at the back of his hips.

The deformity has since left him paralysed, he said.

The Commission expressed its sympathy to the Witness, but requested the larger family to assist it with more information and documents to help in making its recommendations.

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