Listening to Kweku Baako recount stories of how political prisoners under the Provisional National Defense Council administration were tortured will send chills down your spine.
It’s a heart-wrenching and ‘difficult to listen’ to narration of inhumane and dastard acts meted out to some Ghanaians supposedly under the command of former President Jerry John Rawlings, who was the chairman of the PNDC.
Baako had said on several platforms to not revisit the issue, but an interview granted by Rawlings to Asaase FM in which he called out the veteran journalist for peddling falsehood at the National Reconciliatory Committee (NRC) sittings made him come out to ‘set the records straight’.
Baako was initially hesitant to discuss the topic on Wednesday, July 8 edition of Peace FM’s Kroko program but could not resist the temptation to rubbish Rawlings' claims and narrate in detail what believes happened at the time.
Citing portions of the recommendations of the NRC and the accounts of some of the victims, Baako told a horrifying story of the acts of torture and abuse the military and police officers inflicted on the prisoners.
Baako said some of the victims told him that their manhoods were tortured to the extent that it was impossible for them to wear pants or shorts, and had to make do with pieces of clothes.
Some were also forced to eat human flesh and beaten mercilessly.
Reading the NRC report of his statements when he appeared before them, Baako said “Two respected journalists, that’s Baako and Ephson said that during the trial, they had the opportunity of examining some of the accused persons as nature and extent of their of their injuries.
‘Mawuli Goka who was the first on the charge sheet had had the tip of his penis slit open slightly by a certain object so it was bigger than normal. His penis appeared to have been torched. The tip was opened and he wasn’t sure.’
“With regards to Atta Kululu, Boamah Panin, he also had a similar experience. The tip of his penis had slipped opened slightly bigger than all of us had there. He hadn’t had his torched, but it kept on leaking on and off. So, most times he was in cloth instead of wearing pants. According to him anytime he wore pants, the object touched the pant and he felt some pains.
“Kyeremeh Djan had his back cut. I saw it with my own eyes. According to him, his back was cut and the flesh was given to him to chew and he refused. He shouted ‘my back is being cut’. The flesh was then given to Mawuli Goka to chew,”
Kweku Baako also read the NRC’s summarized report on Ben Ephson’s account of events which was corroboration of his story.
Ben Ephson who is now the Editor of the Dispatch, was then a reporter with the British Broadcasting Corporation and West Africa Magazine.
Goka, Kyeremeh Djan, Boamah Panyin and Atta Kululu were among some persons who were tried in 1986 for committing treason after they attempted to overthrow the government.
All but one of the accused persons were convicted and sentenced.