Kwaku Baako, Riad At NRC Today As the National Reconciliation (NRC) winds up its public hearings (last one will be on July 13, 2004), there are a few exciting confrontations in the pipeline.
At the NRC today, Mr. Riad Hozaifeh, the officer in charge of videoing tortures, interrogations and executions during the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) era will cross-examine the editor-in-chief of the Crusading Guide, Mr. Kweku Baako Jnr., over statements Mr. Baako made concerning Mr. Hozaifeh and his video coverage of some executions, especially the one at Air Force Station.
Mr. Hozaifeh has once described Mr. Baako as “a poison, who is poisoning the minds of Ghanaians” and also “causing great damage for the civilization of this nation (Ghana).
Mr. Hozaifeh made these remarks when he phoned into Accra-based radio station. Among the guests in the studio was Mr. Baako and the programme was discussing the story in one of the dailies headlined JJ Confirms Accounts of Execution in Video.
To give readers an insight into the expected heated exchanges today, below is what we published on the 'explosive' exchanges between Messrs Hozaifeh and Baako. Mr. Hozaifeh, who phoned into the programme in an angry and agitated tone and had to be calmed down said a statement by Ben Ephson, editor of the Dispatch paper that the execution videos watched 'for sadistic purposes' was “a horrible' statement to make.
The Rawlings aide then turned his anger on Mr. Baako, … this Mr. Baako sitting there, h e is causing great damage for the civilization of this nation, for upbringing of the people of Ghana. He is poison, he is poisoning…”
Hozaifeh continued, Baako is trying to say that he thought I was invited to the NRC by his statement. I want to put my fingers in his eyes and tell him…shut up. You Baako did not send me there. Others who had problems, others had called my name, even before Baako mentioned my name. Kweku Baako cannot bring me to the NRC.
Randy Abbey then asked the question, “Mr. Hozaifeh, did you film the tortures, executions at the Air Force Station?” Hozaifeh explained that even when Flt-Lt Kojo Lee and Amartey Kwei had been convicted and executed for various crimes, some Ghanaians were then wondering whether the then Chairman of the PNDC, Flt Lt Rawlings had actually executed such close friends. He added that a decision was taken by the PNDC that from then on, there should be filming of such interrogations.
Hozaifeh denied that it was torture but “interrogation