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09.11.2004 General News

NRC On Airforce Base Killings

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Fingers ex-Bar Association President over Jerry's threat to Hilla Limann THE NATIONAL RECONCILIATION Commission (NRC) says the extra-judicial killing of a number of “dissidents” at the Airforce Base, Accra, in public and the filming of the event on videotape was a violation of their rights.

The NRC also fingered the respected former President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and Rawlings' lawyer during his 1979 trial, Mr William Adumua-Bossman, as the person who inserted the infamous handing-over warning of then Chairman Rawlings to the then incoming President of the Third Republic, Dr. Hilla Limann.

It also suggested that Mr Adumua-Bossman was a civilian collaborator in the plot to overthrow the Limann administration.

At page 119 of its Executive Summary, the NRC wrote:

“At the time of leaving office, the AFRC was deeply divided between those who, having enjoyed the trappings of office, wished to cling to power, and those who desired to see constitutionalism and democracy restored. With their civilian collaborators, the former group began to plot the overthrow of the Limann Administration even before it had settled down to govern the country. The Commission received evidence from Maj Boakye Djan, a leading member of the AFRC, that it was William Adumua-Bossman, a lawyer and confidante of Flt Lt Rawlings, who inserted in the speech delivered by Rawlings at the handing over ceremony the now infamous threat to the incoming administration that the military were ready to resume power if things were not done the way they wished.”

Stating its position on the killings at the Airforce Base on Page 155 of the same Executive Summary, Volume One, the NRC said the filming of the execution of Carlos Halidu Gyiwa, Martin Adjongbah, Gabriel Apatinga, Bamfo Sarkodee Addo, and Abdul Mumini Malik Ibrahim, who took part in the abortive coup attempt to overthrow the Rawlings-led Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) military junta, violated their right to dignity in death.

They were all members of the Armed Force who were arrested and summarily executed at the Airforce Base on March 24, 1984 after their unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the PNDC.

The five men, together with John Ofori Wilson, are the only people identified in the NRC report as having had their right to dignity in death violated in the voluminous NRC reports.

Ofori Wilson was arrested on the same day Gyiwa and his four other colleagues were killed at the Airforce Base. He was arrested in his house and later found killed. His car, a Mercedes Benz, was later found at the PNDC office at Gondar Barracks in Burma Camp and his body later found by his brother, Staff Sergeant Emmanuel Oko Wilson at the 37 Hospital, Accra, with a bullet wound in his left breast and some of his fingernails removed.

The brother of the late Wilson, Staff Sgt Oko Wilson, was consequently ordered to proceed on posting to 2 Brigade in Kumasi, without the late Wilson's body or his car being released to the family.

The NRC said it gathered from a witness that the late Wilson was killed over suspicion of complicity in a plot to overthrow the PNDC.

The chilling detail of the Airforce Base killings and the suspected roles of former President Jerry John Rawlings and current Minister of Agriculture Major (Rtd) Courage Quarshiga, is however captured in Volume Two of the voluminous NRC report, the Executive Summary noted. (Keep reading for the filla on this). - [email protected]

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