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29.04.2004 General News

NRC to consider Nkrumah's PDD members

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Accra, April 29, GNA- All soldiers of Kwame Nkrumah's Presidential Details Department (PDD) who died or were affected in the February 24 1966 coup, would be considered in the recommendations by the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC).

General Emmanuel Alexander Erskine, a member of the Commission announced this and endorsed by the Chairman Mr Justice Kweku Amua-Sekyi at the Commission's public hearing in Accra on Thursday.

This was after Madam Maud Ghansah Tay, a Witness, had told the Commission that his father, Mr John Kow Tay, a member of the PDD, died of cutlass wounds from soldiers in 1966 after the coup.

Witness, who said his evidence was based on a narration from her late mother, Ama Sey Amponsah, said during the coup, her mother at the request of her father locked him up in a wardrobe to save him from the wrath of the angry solders.

Her father's dead body, along with others, was later found in a plantain farm behind the Flagstaff House, she said, and added that an uncle who later went to their room discovered cuts on the wardrobe, with bloodstains in it.

She said her father's body was not released to the family, neither had the family been given compensation.

She said some time during the Acheampong regime, some compensation were given to affected families, but her mother, who later developed psychological problems and later died could not honour the invitation.

Madam Ghansah Tay said as a result of the death of her parents, she had to stay with an aunt and her education ended at the basic level, as she had to sell to care for her brother.

Anther Witness, Mr Anthony Baafour Asare, a former Purchasing Clerk of Produce Buying Company, stationed at Bayerebon Nyinahin District said he was wrongly accused embezzling cocoa revenue and spent two years in detention and 12 years in jail.

Mr Asare said two soldiers arrested him in July 1983 and sent him to the 4BN guardroom, and tortured him on the orders of one Captain Amenyanor and W/O Agyekum.

Witness said the Depot Keeper, Mr R .K Peprah, recorded shortages in his record book but W/O Agyekum invited him to report to Accra. He said he appeared before Mr Ahwoi at the State House in Accra. Mr Ahwoi asked that the case be returned to Kumasi, but W/O Agyekum rather dumped him in Recce Guardroom in Accra.

Witness said the soldiers once gave him the "Get Ready" notice, but failed to turn up.

Mr Asare said one Captain Amenyah came for him that he was sending him to Kumasi, but rather ended at the National Investigations Committee (NIC), and then to the James Fort Prison and detained for two years.

Witness said he was taken from Prison to face NIC on charge of embezzlement, adding that at one time he fainted, and he together with a soldier fell into a gutter, as the soldiers showed him a wall with plenty of gunshot holes, and threatened to shoot him.

He said he was later transferred to the Public Tribunal, chaired by Mr Addo Aikins, but the case was transferred to Nyinahen.

At Nyinahin the prosecution still lacked evidence to support the case, and just when the Chairman was about to dismiss it, he announced that "authority from above" had asked him to sentence him to death by firing squad.

The sentence was later commuted to 15 years; and after 10 years, eight of which were spent in the Nsawam Prisons condemned cells, he was granted remission, and released in 1995.

Witness said he engaged counsel who was rather not allowed to represent him, and his counsel tried in vain to get copies of the trial and judgement.

Commission expressed sympathy to the Witness, but asked him to produce documents, including copies of the trial and judgement proceedings, and the prison term.

Another Witness, Mrs Elizabeth Quartey, prayed the Commission to recommend that the dismissal of her late husband DSP Kofi Quartey, formerly of the Koforidua Police Station be changed to termination of appointment, even posthumously.

She said her husband had a shock after the unexpected dismissal letter was handed to him, and doctors attributed a kidney problem to the shock he had.

Witness said DSP Quartey was defending some allegation of diversion of bags of rice before he died in 1983, and added that his exit from the service on termination of appointment would also enable DSP Quartey's family to collect his benefits after 38 years of service in the Police Service.

Mr Samuel Owusu Lartey, former Revenue Superintendent for the 31 December Market in Accra complained of being victimised by Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, former Chief Executive of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and allegedly ordered the pulling down of his four-bedroom house at Nii Boye Town in 1989.

He said after an investigation to implicate him in revenue deal had failed, Mr Mensah ordered the demolishing of the house.

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