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21.06.2004 Boxing

Ex-boxing champion testifies before NRC

By GNA

Accra, June 21, GNA - Mr Charles Odumasi, a Former Featherweight Boxing Champion of the Gold Coast, now a soap manufacturer in Kumasi on Monday told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) that he was a man of substance but had become impoverished due to the maltreatment by soldiers after the 1979 coup.

He said when he was no longer active in boxing, he established a poultry farm, adding that he had about 9,700 birds and nine plots of land when soldiers seized his property and brutalised him. Mr Odumasi, who hails from Kumasi, said some few days after the coup his wife sold four-dressed chicken to a soldier at 28 cedis, adding that not long after, about 30 soldiers raided his house and took all his valuable belongings, including full pieces of cloth and 300 pieces of dressed chicken.

He said the soldiers sold the 9,700 birds at "control price" and took the proceeds away, adding that all these happened after he had submitted a commodity declaration form.

Mr Odumasi said the soldiers severely beat him up until he fell unconscious, adding that he gained consciousness the following day at the Four Infantry Battalion.

He said he lost five teeth, his face was swollen and blood oozed from his ears, adding that his eyes were bloodshot and he could not see until after three months of treatment.

The Witness said he spent almost a month in cells at the Two Brigade in Kumasi, adding that every morning, he was taken out and beaten.

He said his farm manager was brutalised but later fled to Nigeria, where he died some years later.

Mr Odumasi told the NRC that the Lands Commission seized six of his nine plots of land and sold them.

He said he became indebted to the extent that he could no longer cater for his family, adding that his wife divorced him and took the children away.

The Witness appealed to the NRC to help him retrieve his plots of land.

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