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12.06.2004 General News

NRC ends public hearings in Koforidua

By GNA

Koforidua, June 12, GNA - The 9-member National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) ended its four days public hearings at Koforidua on Friday,

The Commission listened to 40 out of the 68 witnesses listed to testify to alleged human rights violations they suffered from governments, agencies and individuals between 1957 and 1993. The hearings, which marked the last of regional hearings by the NRC, involved testimonies from witnesses residing in the Eastern and Volta Regions.

The chairman of the Commission, Mr Justice K.E. Amua-Sekyi, in a closing remark, noted that by going round the regions, the NRC brought the work of the Commission closer to the people.

Among the last witnesses to testify before the Commission included Mr Charles Kwame Affum, a former sailor with the defunct Black Star Line. He told the NRC that his personal effects shipped from abroad were confiscated by the Tema Port Security on the orders of Naval Officer Nkwantabisa over alleged evasion of duties.

Mr Affum complained of having been brutalized and locked in a guardroom for two days in his efforts to get back the goods. The witness said despite petitions to Mr P.V. Obeng, a one-time PNDC Advisor and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), he (witness) could not get back the goods.

Mr Gideon Kwaku Obeng Kyere of Tinkon-Akuapem and a former cook at a Libyan Oilfield, told the Commission of how a queenmother of Abodom living at Nungua, who bought a sound system from him at 200,000 cedis and failed to pay.

He said the Queenmother rather engaged some soldiers to arrest and brutalise him and a friend at the Gondar Barracks in 1986. According to Mr Kyere, was detained at the Barracks for two weeks and when the soldiers ransacked his room he lost some property, money and cash and his passport which prevented him from going back to Libya after his holiday.

The Commission is expected to continue its public hearings in Accra till July 13, after which it would write its report for presentation to the government by the end of October.

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