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General News Thu, 29 May 2003

Soldiers killed my son - Witness

Mr. Charles Kwesi Grant, a pensioner at Mamprobi in Accra, on Wednesday told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) that a soldier shot and killed his son at the Offices of the Greater Accra Regional Administration on September 15, 1982.

George Kwabena Grant, his late son, then a secretary with the People's Defence Committee (PDC), paid the price of his life for trying to prevent a soldier from stealing the flour he was in-charge of distributing, he added.

Mr Grant said all efforts to trace the soldier who killed his son proved futile as the soldier (Kofi) who informed him about his son's death refused to show him the culprit.

He said he found his son's body at the 37 Military Hospital.

Mt Grant said his son was killed exactly two weeks after he stopped a soldier from taking away some flour and other commodities he was distributing at the Trade Fair site.

Mr Grant said he was sure that Flying Officer Tackie, whom the soldier reported the incident to and whom he pleaded with to take good care of his son, had something to do with the killing because of the poor reception he received from him after the incident.

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He said a report in the Daily Graphic that stray bullets killed his son was not true because he saw the bullets holes in the door where his son was killed.

Mr Grant said he did not report to the police because "during the revolution, one could not venture to report anything to the police." He said his son left behind a wife and three children but since he was a pensioner, he could not educate them well and pleaded with the commission for assistance.

Major General Erskine said though law and order had broken down, the military uniform was not a license to commit murder.

"We must make sure the laws of the land always prevail." Another witness, Mr Noah Obeng, a farmer at Abekoase, near Anyinam, said he lost one eye that was replaced with an artificial one due to the torture he went through in the hands of soldiers that claimed he was hiding Major Okyere Boateng, his brother.

The soldiers said they wanted to arrest Major Okyere Boateng because he was trying to stage a coup.

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He said they later arrested and killed him adding that the family as at now does not know whether he was buried.

Mr Obeng said he was a driver at the time and had to stop driving because of his lost of sight.

When Rev. Father Palmer-Buckle and Maulvi Wahab Adam got down to see the artificial eye he wanted to remove it from its socket so that they could see the hole but they did not allow him. According to him he removed it each night he was going to bed.

He pleaded with the Commission to help look for the body of his late brother as well as to help him find a gainful employment.

Narrating the incident, Mr. Obeng said around midnight in July 1983 at Dumfa, soldiers knocked on his door.

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When he opened it one of the soldiers handcuffed him whilst the rest entered his room to search for Major Okyere.

He said when they could not find Major Okyere they put him in their car to a junction at Kyebi where he was severely beaten with belts and sticks by about 20 soldiers.

Mr Obeng said the following day they took him to Asamaman, a village close to Kyebi where the soldiers severely beat him. He added that anyone who enquired about his offence was also beaten.

In the vehicle back to Kyebi, he said the soldiers pierced him with needles and slapped him. His eyes were swollen and when he pleaded he wanted to see a doctor they replied that there was no need because he was going to be executed.

Mr Obeng said they locked him up for two weeks but released him after he paid a bribe of 100,000 cedis to the DSP in charge.

He said the soldiers took away his vehicle, a Bedford SG 9020 from the Royal Motors where it was being repaired as the job card bore Major Okyere's name.

Source: gna
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