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General News Wed, 11 Feb 2004

Soldiers molested my father and uncle- Witness

Accra, Feb 11, GNA- Mr Alex Nyonde Ngomibi, a Witness at the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) on Wednesday prayed the Commission to assist him find soldiers at the Burma Camp, who molested his father and his uncle, and robbed them of 8.5 million cedis in 1990.
Speaking in Basare language through an interpreter, Mr Ngomibi said his father, the late Nyande Ngomibi Nkpan, together with an uncle Major Nyande, drove to an office at the Burma Camp to respond to a call from one Major Pattington, who he said was the uncle's Commanding Officer. Mr Ngomibi his father, then about 60, later came back weeping, with marks at his back and blood oozing from his anus.
Mr Ngomibi said his father told him some soldiers beat him, and later run a stick through his anus.
He said his uncle was arrested and released after seven months, and added that his uncle said the money was with the soldiers. Mr Ngomibi said the event brought a dent on his personality, back at home, as people wrongly alleged that he took his father to Accra to rob him of his money.
Members of the Commission condemned in no uncertain terms the atrocities meted out to the Witness' father.
Both General Emmanuel Erskine and Professor Abena Dolphyne wondered what sense it made for such brutalities.
General Erskine said: "Sometimes we wonder if those doing the brutalities were normal human beings.
"It is difficult to explain, but we hope and pray that we do not go through such a disgusting experience again."
Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, another Member of the Commission appealed to the Witness to seek help from the NRC Counselling Section and get over his pain.
She further appealed to the Witness against vengeance.
Another Witness, Mr Ato Sakyiamah said Militiamen shot into his car on his way to church at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Accra on January 1986.
He said when he got to the Kinbu Area, the Militiamen stopped and asked him to give out his car for an operation but he refused.
They fired into his Toyota Corrola car when he went back to the wheels, and the bullets went "two inches" to his heart, and was subsequently hospitalised for three months at the Korlebu Teaching Hospital. He said his then eight-month old pregnant wife delivered prematurely when news about his near death got to her, and was also hospitalised for two months.
Mr Sakyiamah said the trauma affected both his wife and child mentally, and even with surgery, the child had not completely come off the psychological problems.
Witness said he rejected the car, which was released to him in a very bad state.
He prayed the Commission for appropriate compensation. Madam Dora Kai Kodzo from Teshie Tsui Bleo in Accra, another Witness, said members of the local People Defence Committee(PDC) led some soldiers to seize a quantity of cloth she was selling.
She said it included 60 wax prints, some grey baft, khaki, and polyester.
Madam Kodzo, who looked very disturbed said the soldiers took away her pregnant daughter who was then at home.
She said they considered that her daughter was pregnant and along the way ordered her down when they got to a place near the Teshie Shooting Range and asked her to walk back home.
Madam Kodzo said efforts to the PDC office to assist her get her items back were all fruitless.
She said she was a single parent, and as result of the loss of her business, her son, then in secondary had to stop schooling to become a driver's mate.
Witness said her son has since not got any meaningful job, and life had become very difficult for the family. The Commission expressed sympathy to her and referred her to its Counselling Section.

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Source: GNA
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