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14.09.2004 General News

Gbevlo-Lartey's Family Show Concern

By Larry-Alans Dogbey(Network Herald

The family of the former Commanding Officer of the Forces Reserve Battalion or the 64th Regiment, Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey has described the stone throwing charges being leveled against those arrested last Wednesday as a not too clever explanation attempted to hoodwink the peace-loving people of Ghana.

Now, the family says it is scared at the systematic pursuit of their son, husband and father since his release from the Ghana Armed Forces following allegations of his involvement in a coup plot.

A visibly shaken Mrs. Regina Gbevlo-Lartey, wife of the former 64BN stalwart said the family has known no peace in the face of covet and overt attempts to emotionally and psychologically torture them, using persons suspected to be from the security services.

She told the Network Herald that the exercise of last week Wednesday at their residence was one of several cases of harassment they had been subjected to even before the coup scare that ended the carrier of Gbevlo- Lartey and wondered why after retiring such a “fine officer and gentleman” his family would not be left to enjoy his untimely retirement in peace. Other members of the Gbevlo-Lartey family complained of the trauma they were going through in this country which they suspect is a façade for all the attempts they suspect were being hatched to deny the soldier his right to life.

They referred to the near assassination of Emmanuel Gbevlo-Lartey last year at Shai Hills on the Tema-Akuse road ostensibly by armed robbers as one of the numerous attacks that have traumatized the family and made their lives “very unsafe and scary.”

“The countless siege on this residence by the Military Police, the Police itself and the BNI looking for weapons is extremely terrifying. Somebody is up to something, I dare say. BNI surveillance on us before and after my husband's release from the army, has completely taken our private and social lives away,” a grieving Mrs. Gbevlo-Lartey lamented.

Narrating “the Black Wednesday” ordeal, Julius Caesar Addae-Conutsey 39, one of the four men arrested by the combined team said he returned from town around 11pm, packed his car and retired to his room which is attached to a structure the retired officer uses as his private study.

A little later, he came out of his room and to a summer hat next to the study. Whilst there, Mr. Addae-Conutsey, an Administrative Manager at Ghana Telecom and an in-law of Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey said he heard some noise and also spotted images behind a hedge at the side of the study and questioned who was there. “Before I could say jack, the people descended on me heavily and started molesting me.”

“They slapped me, kicked me in the abdomen, hit me with an object at the wrist and kicked my legs, knees and ankles with their boots.”

The team, which in his estimation numbered about a dozen, split into two with one group climbing the block of flats in which the officer and five other families including two police officers live.

He said while those with him downstairs went on to ransack his room, he heard those upstairs “violently banging on the Lt. Col.'s door and asking everybody in the apartment to come out.”

After trying to no avail to forcibly open the door, the team then went to the Boys quarters attached to the apartment and ordered its occupants Mathias Lemboe, a product of the University of Ghana Legon, Peter Asiedu, a student of Accra Polytechnic and Daniel Ekudi, an SSS product and dragged them downstairs.

There, they were told that they were being arrested for throwing stones into the yard of the Electoral Commission (EC).

They were subsequently taken to the Ministries Police Station and later the Adabraka

Police Station where they were locked up and only granted a police enquiry bail in the afternoon of the next day after their statements had been taken. They denied throwing stones into the EC yard at that time of day. “This is totally outrageous, I never threw a stone. The other guys were sleeping when I came back from town. They (the team) went to wake them up,” Caesar said while concluding that the team actually came for the Lt. Col. and just fabricated the story of stone throwing to cover-up evil motives.

On his part Emmanuel Gbevlo-Lartey said his life has been ruined since the incident because he still has some pellets in his body even though a large quantity was removed at the 37 Military Hospital where he was taken to by some good Samaritans on the day he was attacked.

He also narrated how he was invited to the BNI Headquarters days after he was discharged from the 37 Military Hospital on the pretext that he was spotted at the Gondar Barracks in Burma Camp in the company of some uniformed soldiers.

“I don't know my brother; but by coincidence or design we feel very unsafe,” he said.

At a meeting with the Head of Security of the EC Major (Rtd) Ayim, his assistant J.B Mensah and the CID officer Daniel Tudzi, Mr. Mensah admitted making a distress call to the Police Headquarters around 10 pm last week Tuesday with a request for some police personnel. He said he did so in the face of a stone throwing attack from the direction of the Ghana Airways Flats area, which actually is opposite the Accra Psychiatric Hospital.

He said since he did not see anyone throwing the stones, he was unable to ascertain whether relations of the fomer Commander were involved in the stone throwing but volunteered that even though the stones throwing continued briefly after the police team had taken the four away, it stopped later.

The Detective later told the Network Herald, that the Adabraka police are pursuing the matter vigorously having already spoken to the head of the patrol team, which effected the arrest, Superintendent Arday of the Dansoman Police to seek further clarification on the matter.

Mr. Addae-Conutsey's medical report signed by a senior officer of the Ridge Hospital Dr. K. Sakyi Obuobi indicated that he had “chest pains, headache, and painful left ear, contused lower lips and left eye, backache and painful jaw” as a result of assault from the police and military officers.

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