26 November 2007

Ghana: Family of Victim of Military Brutality Appeals to the A-G Not to Kill the Case

The family of the late Evans Kusi has appealed to the Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Joe Ghartey, to expedite action in the case involving the three soldiers of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) who beat their son to death.

The parents of the deceased made the appeal in an interview with the Public Agenda at a District Magistrate Court in Accra after the Presiding Judge, Her Lordship Eugenia Atta-Sonno, had adjourned the case again because the Attorney-General's advice was not ready.

The mother of the deceased, Mrs. Celestine Akatsi, 45, a class one teacher at Enyinam D/A primary school in the Wassa West District in the Western Region said the late Evans Kusi was the eldest of his two children.

According to her, the late Evans happened to be a sickle cell patient who needed special care and being a class one teacher in a remote village in the country she had to borrow money from friends and banks to ensure his upkeep.

"It was only just this September that the Ghana Commercial Bank finished deducting from my meager salary a loan I took to pay his school fees and ensured his upkeep," she said.

"It was my hope that I will enjoy the fruit of my labour after suffering to pay his fees only for these wicked soldiers to beat my son to death", she sobbed.

She therefore called on the A-G's Department to expedite action on the case since justice delayed is justice denied.

Mr. Emmanuel Kusi, the father of the deceased indicated that it was unfortunate for the military to use their uniform to intimidate civilians whose taxes are used to cloth them.

He revealed that the family's patience was running out because the two soldiers who are currently on bail come to his area frequently to make derogatory marks concerning the death of his child.

"It is unfortunate that the law should allow the killers of my son to be going about their normal business and insulting us without any remorse" he said.

Mr. Kusi indicated that the son who had just completed the Maritime Academy was due to travel to Canada when he met his untimely death as a result of beatings he received from the soldiers for allegedly disrespecting their orders.

He said that it would be most unfortunate if the soldiers were allowed to go unpunished since it would force many people to take the law into their own hands to ensure justice.

The late Evans Kusi met his untimely death on the 4th of March this year when three soldiers from the GAF allegedly beat him up at a graduation party of a hairdresser at Florenza Hotel at Alhaji in Accra.

The three soldiers Atsu Bodza, Michael Ankomah and Daniel Okpata all serving in the GAF as Junior Officers went into hiding after the horrendous act until they were arrested at their hideout and arraigned before court.

Police investigations however charged two of the soldiers, Atsu Bodza and Michael Ankomah with abetment while Daniel Okpata has been charged with the murder of the 22-year-old youngman.

The Presiding Judge Her Lordship Eugenia Atta-Sonno at the last sitting on Tuesday adjourned the case to the 13th of December this year hoping to have the report from the A-G's Office ready to enable her to proceed with the case.

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