General News of Thursday, 7 February 2013

Source: The Herald

Rawlings angry at Konadu’s boy

One of the events Ghanaians wish never occurred is the June 30, 1982 barbaric murder of an army major and three High Court Judges at the Bundase Military Training field under the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) regime led by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.

Over 30 years have passed and Mr. Rawlings who has lived with the false accusations that he and his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings sponsored the killings, feels his scar is being scratched again with reckless abandon by one political neophyte called Ernest Owusu-Bempah.

Spokesperson for ex-President Rawlings, Kofi Adams, has revealed his boss is angry at Owusu-Bempah over the latter’s “reckless” death notice served on Supreme Court Justices sitting on Nana Akufo-Addo’s election case and would wish the security agencies investigate the matter and arrest him.

Mr. Adams distanced his boss from Owusu-Bempah, who has been holding himself as a close friend of the Rawlingses and sometimes purports to be speaking for them, saying Mr. Rawlings cannot even identify the razor-sharp-mouthed ‘boy’ should he be brought before the ex-president to be identified.

Major Acquah, Mr. Justice Fred Poku Sarkodee, Mrs. Justice Cecilia Koranteng-Addow and Mr. Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyepong father of ex-Press Secretary to President John Kufuor, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, were discovered dead and burnt by some assailants, some of whom served in Mr. Rawlings’ regime.

The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) in collaboration with the Judiciary has annually been observing the day as Martyrs Day in remembrance of the three murdered Justices of the High Court.

“I am telling you, the ‘Old Man’ doesn’t know him. If two people are standing and he is asked who Owusu-Bempah is, he doesn’t know him”, Mr. Adams stressed in an exclusive interview with “The Herald” Tuesday via phone.

He said that in as much as Mr. Rawlings is not too happy about the level of integrity of some judges, to threaten them with death and ask that an act that was considered criminal and investigated with some persons shot dead by firing squad, may be revisited if the ruling is not in favour of Nana Addo, is “absolutely uncalled for and the Old Man does not support it”.

About two weeks ago, a group of sympathizers of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) converged at Taifa, a suburb of Accra, and launched a group called “Let My Vote Count Alliance” (LMVCA) in support of Nana Addo’s petition at the Supreme Court in which he is seeking to overturn the 2012 presidential elections in his favour.

At the programme which was broadcast on about four radio stations, including Oman FM, owned by Assin Central MP Ken Ohene Agyapong, Owusu-Bempah claimed the National Democratic Party (NDP) fully endorsed the formation of LMVCA and extended Mrs. Rawlings warmest greeting to the charged crowd, before delivering his highly “condemnable” speech.

According to Owusu-Bempeh, the 2012 general elections which saw President Mahama winning with 50.70 percent was rigged by the Electoral Commission (EC), and stated that the formation of the group was very appropriate.

He said that the NDP was happy the NPP had taken the matter to the Supreme Court, but warned the judges to be firm and deliver justice by pronouncing the NPP winners so that the case of the three judges that were murdered in 1983 during Mr. Rawlings’ regime is not revisited

However, Mr. Adams said even though he had not spoken to Mrs. Rawlings because she was out of the country, he did not think she would be happy with Owusu-Bempah’s death threat since it is totally unacceptable, especially because Mrs. Rawlings herself had lived with the painful accusation that the keys to the vehicle used in committing the murders were taken from her house.

He said Mr. Rawlings felt Owusu-Bempah was going overboard with his verbal attacks, some of them very “violent” on people including the late President John Mills and now President John Mahama.

Mr. Adams said he wanted to issue a public statement with a call on the security agencies to pickup Owusu-Bempah over the death threats on the justices since the act was criminal, but had to relax since he did not want to appear as dictating to the security establishment as to how to do their work.

He pointed out that even though President Rawlings might have met Owusu-Bempah once or twice, those times would have been when he visited the 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM) office, he is not a person he (Rawlings) knew and interacted with regularly as had been portrayed by the young man.

Readers would recall how ahead of the presidential primaries of the NDC, which saw Mrs. Rawlings contesting the late President Mills, Owusu-Bempah with his comrades Dela Coffie, Emmanuel Saint Osei, Sacut Amenga-Etego and Joseph Bediako went on a mission of attacking everybody in the then President Mills administration.

Whilst former President Rawlings and his wife attacked the President on his performance and certain decisions he took, the young men claiming to be for the Rawlings were at their best calling the sitting President a ‘mole’ in the NDC whose administration had institutionalized corruption.