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28.06.2004 General News

Former Army officer gives evidence at NRC

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Accra, June 28, GNA - Captain Amoh-Twum (rtd), a Commanding Officer of the Aflao Border during the 31st December 1981 coup on Monday told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) that Captain Kojo Tsikata, former National Security Advisor crossed the Togo border into Ghana on January 5, 1982 after a clearance was issued.

He said he came to the Commission to correct an earlier impression that Captain Tsikata was not in the country for the whole of January as reported by one of the private newspapers.

Captain Amoh-Twum said he was instructed to close the boarder during the 31st December coup, adding that on January 1, 1982, Captain Tsikata came to him at the border to allow him to cross into Ghana, adding that he refused because he was working strictly according to directives.

He said he sent a message to the head office seeking for clearance, adding that it was not until January 5 when he received the clearance based upon which he opened the border for Captain Tsikata, Professor Mawusi Dake, Squadron Leader Sowu and one Mr Abdallah to cross into Ghana.

Captain Amoh-Twum said Captain Tsikata was driven into Ghana in a Libyan car, adding that the border was officially opened on January 8, 1982.

Colonel R.D. Awudu, then a Chief Operations Officer at the Gondar Barracks, in his evidence said after the coup had succeeded on January 1, 1982, Former President Jerry John Rawlings asked him to send a message to Captain Tsikata then in Togo to come to the Gondar Barracks, which he did through their communication centre.

He said he sent the message at 1000 hours GMT, adding that by 1600 hours Capt Tsikata had arrived at the Gondar Barracks.

Col. Awudu said he saw Captain Tsikata at the Gondar Barracks for about two weeks after he had arrived from Togo.

In response to the evidence given by the two witnesses' Counsel for Captain Tsikata, Dr Obed Asamoah told the witnesses that the dates they mentioned could possibly not be correct, adding that Captain Tsikata was in Abidjan on January 1, 1981.

Captain Tsikata noted that he could not remember the dates but was certain that he crossed the Togo border into Ghana after January 8, adding that he came with a car sent from the Gondar Barracks and not in a Libyan vehicle.

He said he did not meet Squadron Leader Sowu at the border as alleged, adding that he would have surely spoken to him since he (Sowu) was his relative.

Captain Tsikata refuted the allegation that he went to Captain Amoh-Twum in his office at the border asking to cross, adding that he rather met a Lady Officer, who sent the message for the clearance before the border was opened.

He said he was in Abidjan on the invitation of a friend, Mr Emmanuel Ackah to celebrate the Christmas with him and his family. Mr Emmanuel Ackah, who said he flew into Ghana to give evidence because he wanted peace to prevail, collaborated Captain Tsikata's story adding that Captain Tsikata was with them until about the January 7 when he (Tsikata) left for Togo. 28 June 04

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