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05.07.2004 General News

Help trace my husband - Nurse

By GNA

Accra, July 5, GNA - Madam Gladys Botchwey, a Nurse, on Monday appealed to the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) to help her find her husband, whether dead or alive, who disappeared in 1983 after six soldiers arrested him.

She said the soldiers arrested her husband, Mr Francis Oppong Adu and took him to the Koforidua Police Station, adding that he spent five days in detention there.

Madam Botchwey said after the fifth day, she went to visit her husband only to be told that he had been taken to Accra. She said she followed up to the Central Police Station in Accra where she was told her husband had not been brought there, adding that neither she nor any member of the family had seen or heard from Mr Oppong Adu since then.

Witness said before the soldiers took her husband to the Police station, they informed them that Former President Jerry John Rawlings, the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) had asked them to take him there for interrogations in relation to his assets.

Madam Botchwey said her husband was then working with the Produce Buying Agency (PBA) as an Accountant, adding that he owned three cars at the time.

Witness said the day after of her husband's arrest, the soldiers came for the three cars, adding that none of the cars was given back to the family even though someone informed her that he saw one of the cars at Anyinam.

Madam Botchwey said she had developed hypertension due to the disappearance of her husband, adding that she could not cater for the children properly.

Justice Amua-Sekyi, Chairman of the Commission promised the Witness that the Commission would investigate the case to unravel the mystery surrounding her husband's disappearance.

Mr Gale Nyatefe Attipoe, a Witness, also told the NRC that 6.2 hectares, which the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) leased to him in 1977, was taken from him and leased to three other people by the same TDC in 1989.

He said he obtained the right of entry in 1979, adding that he paid a yearly rent and renewed the lease after five years as stipulated in the agreement.

Mr Nyatefe said he was using the land to farm, adding that he built a farmhouse only to visit the farm in 1989 to find that the house had been demolished.

He said he contacted the then Head of TDC, one Mr Amanor, who told him the plot had been leased out to three other people.

Witness said four years later, the Chief Estate Officer of TDC agreed to give him a piece of land instead of renewing the lease, adding that he refused to take the land.

He said, he sent the case to the Criminal Investigations Department in Tema but nothing good came out of it. Mr Attipoe appealed to the NRC to call upon the TDC to pay him the necessary compensation.

Mr Isaac Sarkodie, a Witness, who said he was working with the Akim Oda Hospital, told the NRC that he was dismissed for allegedly stealing some items, including a sewing machine and a refrigerator from the Hospital in September 1976.

He said he was arrested and taken to the Oda Divisional Police Headquarters and then to the Ministries Police Station after a search had been conducted in his house.

Mr Sarkodie said the search, which was conducted by one Major A.W.K. Osabutey with four other men was based on an anonymous letter the soldiers received, adding that they took away his sewing machine, a second-hand refrigerator, some plates and textiles, which her wife was about to sew for customers.

He said at the Ministries Police Station he was asked to carry the sewing machine for a photograph to be taken of him, adding that they published the story in the Ghanaian Times that he had stolen the machine.

The Witness said he was taken to the Recce Regiment where he was beaten and detained for four days and after his release, he received a letter from the Hospital terminating his appointment.

Mr Sarkodie refuted allegations contained in a statement written to the Commission by Major Osabutey that the said machine and refrigerator had UNICEF and MOH embossed on them.

He said he bought the machine together with his wife in a shop in Accra, adding that his wife bought the plates while the textiles were given to her to sew.

Mr. Sarkodie said the matter was investigated and the sewing machine was returned to him. He appealed to the NRC for compensation.

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