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General News | May 8, 2004

Tony Aidoo Holds NPP Group Guilty

MICHAEL ANTWI-AGYEI for Gye Nyame Concord

'Let Task Force help find who slapped me'

CONTROVERSY HAS erupted over the status of the case of reported death threat on the life of NDC firebrand and former Deputy Defence Minister, Dr. Tony Aidoo, by an identifiable group associated with the NPP, known as the Kpeshie Task Force.

Whilst members of the Task Force have been living with the belief that the issue has been settled and that the former minister had agreed to withdraw the case, police authorities and Dr Aidoo insist that the case is unresolved.

Both the Police and Dr Aidoo also argue that a prima facie case of threat of life exists against the Task Force, with Dr Aidoo insisting that the case goes to court without delay.

According to him, members of the Task Force are masterminds of an attempt to snuff out his life prematurely.

The members have denied the allegation, insisting that they are decent-minded members of society who have no reason to harm the leading NDC activist.

Four members of the Task Force – Messrs. I. A. Annan, Spokesperson; Robert Bissinan, Organiser; Chris Lartey, Member and Nii Karkai, a sub-chief of Nungua - have so far issued written statements to the Police, indicating that they are an identifiable group made up of decent, responsible members of the Kpeshie Area.

Sources close to the two groups, however, say that Dr Aidoo is adamant that the group is a 'terrorist' organisation. The proof of that, he insists, is the fact that Mr Chris Lartey, who is the Editor of the Chronicle on Saturday, is a member of the group and the reporter of the assault on him at the Fox Trap Nite Club in early 2001. Consequently, the group should be held responsible for that act.

Dr Aidoo told this paper yesterday that as far as he and his lawyers were concerned, they expect the police to bring formal charges against the Kpeshie Task Force as a first step.

“Why shouldn't I pursue the matter in a case in which a newspaper is not only acting as an umbrella for a violent organisation associated with a political party and where that political party has also a very long history of political violence against its opponents”, he queried this paper.

According to him, even though the police authorities have tried to beg him to drop the case “I believe the law should take its course.”

He said when they met a week ago, the police had established clear evidence that the Kpeshie Task Force was liable to a criminal offence as well as “a link between the group and the attack somebody administered to me in April 2001.”

“One of the clear evidence was that the very same person, the Editor of the Chronicle on Saturday, Chris Lartey, who wrote at that time that the person who hit me had hit me free is the PRO of this lynch group,” he noted.

Chris Lartey has dismissed the linkage, indicating that he got that report as a newsman and not a member of the Task Force, friends of his told this paper.

Contacted, Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, ACP Kofi Boakye, said investigations have so far established a clear case of threat on the life of the former Deputy Minister of Defence by the Kpeshie Task Force.

He said he has no idea that Dr Aidoo did not want to pursue the matter any longer and that until a formal withdrawal letter came from the former Deputy Defence Minister, the Police has no option but to continue to investigate the matter to the letter.

“Last week, they were all here and we had a wide range of fruitful discussions and I wouldn't like to prejudice anything until the full facts are established”, ACP Kofi Boakye told this paper yesterday.

Following Dr Aidoo's complaints, two policemen, one Hamen and ASP Habbadah, from the Regional Police Command called at the offices of the Chronicle two weeks ago to investigate the alleged threat on the life of the former deputy minister.

Dr Aidoo had referred to a Chronicle on Saturday lead story titled “We'll tame Jerry, Tony”. He stressed that a particular statement that read that “the group would mete out to Tony a treatment more nastier than what was meted out to him in traffic by an unidentified person near the Fox Trap Nite Club at Adabraka”, was indicative of their knowledge of who meted out that assault on him.

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