06.07.2004 General News

Adabuga re-appears before NRC

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Accra, July 6, GNA - Ex-Corporal Mathew Adabuga, Player in the December 31 1981 Coup, on Tuesday said Former President Jerry John Rawlings, Chairman of the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) sanctioned any killings he ever committed.

"If I've ever killed, it was sanctioned by your boss, Flt Lt Rawlings," Ex-Cpl Adabuga said, and again apologised for the deaths of some children he said he killed through an accident.

The Ex-Corporal was under cross-examination by Riad Hozaifeh, a friend of Former President Rawlings, at a public hearing of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) in Accra.

The cross-examination by Mr Hozaifeh, who had so far made a sixth appearance at the Commission's public hearing, was in response to evidence given by the Ex-Corporal Adabuga, to the effect that Mr Hozaifeh and one Wallace Gbedema, then Chief Operations Officer, had taken them round and shown them houses of Asians, who dealt in gold and diamonds.

Ex-Corporal Adabuga had also stated that the Mr Hozaifeh and then Major Wallace Gbedema had taken some gold from the Bank of Ghana, used them as exhibits to trap the Asians, suspected to be hoarding gold and diamonds into believing that they were dealers in gold, after which the soldiers invaded the houses of the Asians, searched and arrested them.

Mr Hozaifeh denied the allegations about him and Major Gbedema, saying they were lies and fabrications, and that Ex-Corporal Adabuga had been coached to come to the Commission to say what he said.

Mr Justice Kweku Etru Amua-Sekyi, Chairman of the Commission, had asked Mr Hozaifeh to use his allotted cross-examination time usefully. Mr Hozaifeh's initial questions had been on whether the Ex-Corporal knew him and who the Asians he mentioned were and why he had not used the title of "Major" for Wallace Gbedema.

"That's is not important", Corporal Adabuga said.

Mr Hozaifeh at a point when the cross-examination got heated wanted to know from the Chairman if he could ask questions, apparently bordering on criminality of Ex-Corporal Adabuga, but the Chairman replied: "When I interrupt, you always complain. I'm going to give you the free range." To a question from Mr Hozaifeh for Ex-Corporal Adabuga to name two of the Asians whom Ex-Corporal Adabuga had identified as Lebanese, Syrians and Indians, the Ex-Corporal named the Irani Brothers and added that they even burned their Nissan Patrol.

Ex Corporal Adabuga named other Asians arrested as one John Assie, one Farrar and one Askal Jamal and added that, Mr Hozaifeh, after taking them to their houses did not appear again.

When Mr Hozaifeh suggested that Ex-Corporal Adabuga was a liar and a petty criminal, the Ex-Corporal demanded to know if it were not more criminal for Hozaifeh to be filming the torturing of people and executions.

Witnesses then went into exchanges about their faiths. Mr Hozaifeh admitted being a Muslim, while Ex-Corporal Adabuga stated that he was a Christian.

To a suggestion from Mr Hozaifeh that Ex-Corporal Adabuga would rot in hell, the Ex-Corporal retorted that Mr Hozaifeh would also rot in Gehenna.

Raising the thumb towards Mr Hozaifeh, Ex-Corporal Adabuga said: " If you are strong, let's meet out side. I will show you."

Mr Hozaifeh in his evidence alleged that Ex-Corporal Adabuga had been sentenced to death for killing innocent people and wanted to prove the allegation with a document but the Chairman rejected the document when Counsel for the Commission, Lawyer E. A. Mingle stated that the document was not certified.

Witness, who had said Ex-Corporal Adabuga was below him, said it broke his heart that a person like Ex-Corporal Adabuga had been given amnesty and added that all that the Ex-Corporal had said were lies, false and against the principles and people he worked with under the revolution. When Professor Florence Abena Dolphyne, a Member of the Commission, asked Mr Hozaifeh to be humble, and that nobody was below anybody, Mr Hozaifeh answered he had been a humble person because his religion taught him so.

Mr Hozaifeh said, however: " I cannot be humble with a person who is dripping with blood."

Journalists, who abandoned their seats in the Press Gallery and ran outside to watch the expected showdown between the two Witnesses, returned crestfallen. Ex-Corporal Adabuga had already driven away to be followed later by Mr Hozaifeh in a Jaguar car.

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