09.06.2004 Regional News

Leading CDR member appeals for investigations

09.06.2004 LISTEN

into brutalities he suffered

Koforidua, June 9, GNA - A former leading cadre of the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR), Mr Samuel Oppong Boadi has appealed to the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) to demand the reason for the arrest, brutalities and detention meted out to him and seven other cadres of the Eastern Regional CDR Secretariat in 1984.

Testifying before the NRC at Koforidua on Wednesday, he said that on the morning of August 23, 1984, a contingent of fully armed military and police personnel stormed the premises of the Eastern Regional CDR Secretariat in Mowag armoured cars led by Naval Commander Kumakor and rushed the staff to a meeting.

He said at the meeting, the names of eight senior cadres, including the Regional Coordinator of CDRs, Mr S.S. Baffour-Awuah were called out and they were immediately conveyed to the Regional Police Headquarters in the armoured cars where they were brutally drilled by a team led by Corporal Ayoma for over two hours before being locked up in the Police cells.

Mr Boadi, who is now a student at the All Nations University College, Koforidua, said when they enquired about the reason for their ordeal, Commander Kumakor allegedly told them that they had instructions to bring them to Accra "dead or alive."

Mr Boadi said the following morning, they were brought to the frontage of the Regional Secretariat and drilled again before being sent back to the Police cells, adding that a vehicle mounted with a public address system went through town inviting members of the public, who had any adverse reports against any of them to come and narrate to the security officers.

He said deep in the night, the eight were conveyed in the armoured cars to the PNDC Headquarters at Gondar Barracks from where they were placed in various Police cells and he was sent to the Base Workshop for a week's detention.

He said it was there that a soldier friend disclosed to him that their arrest was based on allegation that they were among a group plotting to overthrow the PNDC.

Mr Boadi said after a week, they were again sent to various Police cells in the regions and he was sent to the Sekondi Police cells with a colleague where they remained for about two months before being brought together again at the PNDC Operations Room at Gondar Barracks for another week's detention before the eight were released to go home without trial.

He said the following day, after returning to Koforidua, he reported to work and was told that a committee chaired by Ambrose Yankey was being set up to investigate the affair, adding that four months later, the Committee reported that he was exonerated from the allegation, even though he was never called to testify before it.

Mr Boadi, who described his fate as "victim of circumstances", said he suspected that they suffered the ordeal because of a "conflict of showing of powers" ensuing between Mr Baffour-Awuah and the then Eastern Regional Secretary, Mr Daniel Ohene Agyekum, after the two clashed at a Regional Security Council meeting and at a March 6, Independence Anniversary parade at the Jackson Park, Koforidua.

He said three months after their release he decided to resign from his post as head of the Monitoring and Coordinating (MONICORD) as he was being transferred to head a district office by Mr Daniel Avorgah, a Police Officer, who succeeded Mr Baffour-Awuah as Regional Coordinator of CDRs.

Questioned by a member of the Commission, Mr Christian Appiah Agyei from which account the CDRs were paid, witness said he thought it was from the Consolidated Fund through the Accountant General's Department. When Bishop Palmer Buckle, another Commissioner, asked him what was the relationship between him and those he suspected to have caused his ordeal since he claimed to believe in reconciliation, Mr Boadi stated that ever since then he snubbed Mr Agyekum and Mr Daniel Avorgah, whenever they met at public gatherings.

He told him to get over the bitterness he harboured and also lead his colleagues to do the same.

Mr A. K. Akuoku Gambia, a Politician, demanded for his retirement benefit from the State claiming that he had served the country with dedication but was made to suffer military brutalities after each coup d'etat since the 1966 overthrow of the Nkrumah administration.

He said, while working as a Crop Propagator with the Ministry of Agriculture, he was seconded to the Builders Brigade, sent to the Soviet Union for a year and returned to become an Instructor of the Ghana Young Pioneer Movement in 1961 in the Eastern Region.

Mr Akuoku Gambia said following the February 24, 1966 coup, two officers of the then Special Branch, now BNI, came to ransack his office and destroyed his official documents, including passport and burnt them. At the end of the month when he went for his salary, he was told the Movement had been banned and was later arrested and detained. He said following the December 31 Revolution, he as the New Juaben Chairman of the District Agriculture Committee and 43 other People's National Party (PNP) functionaries were arrested and detained at the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons for three weeks.

He said months later, soldiers came to torture him in his house while searching for the goats belonging to a contractor named Osman Danso after which he was detained.

He complained that following his ordeal his wife divorced him while he could not educate his children adequately.

Bishop Palmer-Buckle commended him for continuing to remain steadfast in discharging his civic duties and urged the youth to copy his patriotism.

Another witness, Mr Felix Dio Ayekple, a 77 year-old Pensioner of the defunct AG Leventis/Ghana National Trading Corporation (GNTC) said the 4,000 cedis paid in 1977 after rendering 25 years service was insufficient.

He said, he invested the amount in rehabilitating and operating a canteen at the PWD offices at Koforidua but the project collapsed as a result of the activities of the CDRs, leading to a broken family and inability to educate his children.

Mr Kwabena Adomaco, who was demoted from the rank of a corporal to constable, following the escape of three detained suspects from the Krofofromu Police Station in Kumasi between August and October in 1982, during his period of duty, appealed to the Commission to help him redress the punishment.

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