Politics of Monday, 23 January 2006
A homeless former serial caller and leading member of the National Democratic Congress Youth Forum who claims to have 25 acres land of palm plantation farm in Kade in the Eastern Region, Richard Mensah, is on the run following alleged death threats from men he describes as ?body guards of Prof Mills.?
He has filed a complaint to the police, naming three retired Commandos of the feared 64 Battalion. The names are Angola, Atsu and Ballon.
Two months ago, Mensah who walks around today with a neck brace was exposed by the NDC to be an informant passing on insider information to newspapers such as Daily Guide, Heritage and on a few occasions The Statesman. However, while paying him for his trouble, The Statesman never once published his stories. He says he was apprehended and locked up in the party?s main campaign office, Kuku Hill, Osu on the 7th November, 2005 by the three men after his cover was blown during an NDC Founders? Forum at the Kama Conference Centre, Accra.
He claims that a power cut meant that the men noticed in his pocket, the red light of a Dictaphone with which he was secretly recording their conversation. However, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah who describes Mr Mensah as a serial liar says the Dictaphone was found in the informant?s underwear and had to be stripped naked in the toilet to retrieve the device.
He was then taken to the Kuku Hill office where he claims he escaped and jumped through the window of Mr Afriyie Ankrah?s office.
Mr Mensah, who never leaves any media house with an empty hand, claims that as a result of his arrest at the Kama Centre he was severely beaten while sleeping rough at the Holy Gardens, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, at around 2am on January 6, this year.
Narrating his alleged ordeal to The Statesman last Friday, Mr Mensah explained that he received a severe blow to his neck followed by multiple beatings, resulting in an apparent fracture on his neck. He presented X-ray pictures to this paper which he claimed were taken after his ordeal, which got him to spend two days at the Ridge Hospital receiving treatment.
On the alleged assault, he said he was rescued by people with whom he was sleeping at the venue. Mr Mensah said he could identify only Atsu among the four men who subjected him to the beating and has accordingly filed a complaint. Asked why he was sleeping at Circle, he said that his landlord, known as Old man, Nii Ayi of Bubiashie, ejected him from his house when news of his informant status broke.
Until his ejection on the 25th November last year, Mr Mensah was hiding in Lome after escaping from the NDC campaign office on the day he was locked up. Mr Mensah told The Statesman that he had been with the NDC since 1992 but became disillusioned with the party when he was totally ignored at the hospital where he was admitted after being allegedly poisoned by a family member on his farm in 2002.
?No NDC member visited me,? he added. ?Even E T Mensah who always calls me every morning to guide me on what to say on the air as a ?serial caller,? did not visit me. Nobody came to me. In fact, my heart has left them since then.? Narrating what apparently takes place in the propaganda world of serial callers, Mr Mensah told this paper.
?Aziz, Mush, Halidou and I have been serious ?serial callers? for the party. Most of the time, we were being guided by top officials of the party such as E T Mensah, Bagbin, Hanna Tetteh-Kpodah on what to say based on the topic of the day.?
Both the ruling New Patriotic Party and the opposition NDC have accused each other of tele-guiding serial callers and paying for their top-up units. Underlining his contribution to the NDC as a serial caller, he went further, disclosing that in December 2001, the former Vice President and two-term presidential candidate upon his arrival from Canada and Minority Leader Alban Bagbin respectively gave him Christmas cards with ?1m and ?500,000. He quoted Prof Atta Mills as saying ?I was following your phone calls whiles in Canada. I was so impressed with the job done.?
Mr Mensah was however surprised about the attitude of the Adabraka police in investigating the alleged assault against him.
According to him the CID Officer at the station, whose name he gave as Vida, said that she could not investigate the matter because of the personalities involved in it.
As a result, Detective Chief Inspector, Mr Gyamfi, is said to have taken up the matter for further investigation.
However, in an interview with this paper over the weekend, newly-elected Deputy General Secretary and formerly Special Assistant to Prof Mills described Mr Mensah as a ?big liar.?
?When he was caught at the Kama Conference he claimed there was nothing on him; he had hidden the tape recorder in his pants. They had to strip him to his underwear before we found the tape.
?Nobody touched him. Nobody beat him up.
?This Richard Mensah man used to come to my house with all sorts of pathetic stories about how he was in financial crisis; I gave him money out of my own pocket.
?One time he said his wife and his mother-in-law had come with the Police to beat him up and eject him from his house. Now he claims his landlord ejected him. Another time he said he had an ear infection suffered from listening to tapes. Recently I heard he was undertaking a Bible Course to be a pastor. ?This guy is a big liar. Since he was exposed he has never called me. Why hasn?t he called any of the people he claims gave him money??