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24.06.2004 General News

Benny Eshun apologises to Capt. Koda at NRC

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Accra, June 24, GNA - Mr Benny Eshun, a businessman on Thursday apologised to Captain Edmund Kojo Koda, member of the Preliminary Investigations Team (PIT) during the AFRC regime for mentioning his name in an earlier testimony as one of the people who arrested him. "I want to take this opportunity to apologise to Captain Koda, he was not part of the arresting team."

Mr. Eshun who rendered the apology during a cross examination by Captain Koda said he still stood by his previous testimony that Captain Koda could confirm that he (Eshun) was not properly tried, was maltreated and was to be executed.

He also noted that he never mentioned Capt. Koda's name as the one who collected some gold coins from him as was reported in one of the newspapers, adding that, he (Eshun) still did not know where the gold coins were.

Mr. Amoah, a former Colonel in the Ghana Armed Forces who said he did not want to be addressed with his military title because he does not want to be associated with the Army anymore, alleged that Captain Koda was the only person who assaulted him when he was to be interrogated by the PIT.

He said the PIT did not try him because the members were informed that he was Chairman Rawlings' special case, adding that, Captain Koda beat him up at the Gondar barracks after they had the information. Mr Amoah said he did not mention Captain Koda in his statement to the Commission because that was a summary of what he went through. In response, Captain Koda said he never hit Mr Amoah, adding, "I do not know Mr Amoah from Adam and why should I assault him if I was told he was Rawlings' special case"

He said if the incident was very significant to Mr Amoah, he should have mentioned it in his statement, which he wrote at the comfort of his home.

Captain Koda, now resident in Britain responded to Mr Eshun's statement that, he (Koda) could confirm the ill treatment and near execution he (Eshun) went through during the AFRC era and said Mr Eshun was tried with other civilians and were discharged.

He said, he was surprised to have found out later that, they were still being kept in the cells, because they were alleged to be CIA operatives.

Captain Koda added that he had no hand in their detention. Arguments saved my father from execution - NRC Witness Accra, June 24, GNA - Mr Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah, a Witness at the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), on Thursday said an argument among soldiers saved his father from execution on a false coup plot allegation in 1982.

Mr Yeboah said his father, the late Emmanuel Kwame Yeboah, alias Kwame Nkrumah, then in detention at the Gondar Barracks, told the family that but for a disagreement over who, which vehicle and protest among the soldiers to go on the operation at the time of the execution at 0100 Hours of December 24 1982, he would have been executed before the family arrived for a visit the next morning.

Testifying before the NRC in Accra, Mr Yeboah, whose mother, Mrs Elizabeth Animwaa Yeboah sat beside him, said his father was a businessman, who had a store at Okaishie in Accra and dealt in cosmetics. He also owned shares in companies and held bonds.

Mr Yeboah said one Lieutenant Kusi led soldiers to arrest his father from his Asylum Down residence on December 23 1982, as the family was holding a meeting before Christmas and sent him to Gondar Barracks. Witness said after the December 31 1981 coup, his father was invited through a radio announcement to appear before the then Citizens Vetting Committee (CVC) panel chaired by Major Adu-Twum with one Mr Amamu, Mr Oko Djen and Mr Kwamena Ahwoi as members.

He said Mr Ahwoi also served as the Committee's Twi translator. Witness said the CVC, which queried his father as to how he became rich did not accept his father's answers that he had worked hard in his youth and had also been helped financially to get into business. The Committee ordered and his father paid more that 3.5 million cedis in cash and bonds into a special account called Account No. 48 at the Ghana Commercial Bank within 48 hours.

Witness said the CVC also made his father to surrender his government stock holdings.

Mr Yeboah said his father became depressed while life became difficult for the family because it could not withdraw any money from the bank, adding that, One Madam Akua Serwaa, from Obo loaned some money to his father before the family could move on.

Witness said Lt Kusi, armed with a pistol, led two policemen to arrest his father during curfew hours on December 23, but he (Witness) demanded a warrant following a Government directive after the kidnapping and killing of the three High Court Judges and the retired Army Major a few months earlier.

Mr Yeboah said Lt Kusi returned with his team, this time with Nana Korie, Chief of Obo Kwahu citizens in Accra and an Indian man, accompanied by one Major Quashigah, who Witness said was now a Minister. He said Captain Quashigah after identifying his father asked him to join a waiting military vehicle.

Witness said Lt Kusi slapped him on his cheek dislocating his jaw while the Army Officer's men followed beating him until Capt Quashigah intervened on the pleas of his mother.

Mr Yeboah said his father was sent to Gondar Barracks while he and his brother were detained at the Base Workshop Guardroom on the orders of Lt Kusi.

Witness said the soldiers gave him more slaps in the Guardroom before he and his brother were released by one Akpalu and Capt Quashigah made them to sign a bond to be of good behaviour and not to resist arrest again.

According to Mr Yeboah his father said he faced a panel, on which one Commander Assasie Gyimah, alleged that he was plotting a coup to enable him to retrieve his lost assets, but when his father) raised his hand to swear to prove his innocence he was slapped from behind.

Witness said his father went into comatose and was admitted at the 37 Military Hospital, adding that, he came around after one week.

His father was then brought to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) faced a panel alongside with one Mr R.K Obeng, Nana Korie, the Indian and other prominent Kwahu citizens.

The panel exonerated him from the alleged coup plot.

Witness said a man who was said to have reported his father to the BNI failed to identify him at a parade and his father was released. However, the man was later arrested because he lied to the daughter of the Kwahu Chief and collected bribe to arrange for the release of this father.

Mr Yeboah said prominent Kwahu citizens, including Chief Donkor, Head of the Kwahu Community and his father were summoned to a meeting at the Castle later.

He said they met Captain Kojo Tsikata and Commander Assasie Gyimah who were former National Security Advisor and former National Security Co-ordinator respectively.

Witness said Captain Tsikata said his father was arrested because of wrong information and pointed out that the Government was not against Kwahu citizens and traders

One of the Commissioners, Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu asked, "How many Ghanaian have been killed based on false reports? Probably, I will not get an answer", she said.

Witness prayed the Commission to recommend legislation to ensure security of people's savings and financial investment for Ghanaians to have faith in the banking system.

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