About His Criminal Records
The Ministry of Interior and the Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, have discounted the criminal records of the 69-year old bodyguard of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, Captain Edmund Koda, as put out by lawyer Nana Asante Bediatuo.
Deputy Interior Minister, James Agalga, maintains that the rebuttal from Captain Koda’s lawyer, that his client was acquitted and discharged by a commission of inquiry, is untrue.
He challenged those interested to look for the records of the court that convicted Captain Koda, and his colleagues, including Captain Victor Okaikoi.
According to Mr. Baako, Nana Asante Bediatuo’s account of events leading to the criminal conviction and subsequent jailbreak on his client in November 1979, is inaccurate.
He insisted that, the records show that Captain Koda was lawfully convicted, despite interventions from Lt. Flt. Jerry John Rawlings.
Interestingly, although Mr. Baako, who had in the past taken on Mr. Rawlings with respect to some of the “excesses” which occurred under his watch, including the cruel of the Pre-Trial Investigations Team (PIT) led by Captain Koda, and his colleagues, including Captain Victor Okaikoi, who contested the 2012 parliamentary election on the ticket of the NPP, appeared to have lot of information on the two, but solely relied on a mundane narrative from a non-lawyer captured in a newspaper.
The two, spoke on Joy FM/MultiTv’s news analysis programme Newsfile on Saturday.
Mr. Agalga said, “His argument that Captain Koda, was never convicted is a palpable falsehood. He [Koda] was convicted and that is why he continued to serve that jail term and ended up breaking jail.”
Mr. Agalga, said the Francoise Committee Report, does not support Bediatuo’s argument.
On his part, the veteran journalist, Kweku Baako Jnr, referred to January 14, 1980, publication by the defunct Palaver newspaper, then edited by the late Chris Usher, with the headline: Okaikoi, Capt Koda, not guilty of corruption charge says Capt. Henry Smith
Noted for an archival knowledge of political history, Baako, explained that according to Captain Smith, Burma Camp became “very stormy” after allegations surfaced that Okaikoi and Captain Koda, had been cited for corruption. The junior ranks in the military agitated for their trial.
“The acquittal and discharge of the two officers, merely served to arouse the greater anger of the troops …in order to save the two officers from being executed, they were placed in custody and later tried for the second time with sentences passed on them,” Baako said.
According to Capt Henry Smith, as narrated by Baako, since the two officers, were tried and acquitted in the first trial, they could not be tried again for the same offense, which becomes a double jeopardy.
Baako, explained that it was an unconstitutional era of the AFRC, that created the impression that, Captain Koda, is a convict.
The veteran journalist, said the state used Captain Koda to create the impression that, the NPP, were dealing with mercenaries and terrorists.
These claims, although cannot be proven in court, has not stopped government from prosecuting the case in the court of public opinion -for propaganda purposes.
He said, the Interior Minister’s statement, sought to profile Capt. Koda, as a dangerous person in the eyes of Ghanaians, a move he found sad for a minister with “very good credentials.”
The minister, he said is a ‘fine man affected by propaganda.’
He continuously expressed disappointment in the Interior Minister, Prosper Douglas Bani saying, despite being a fine gentleman, he had allowed himself to be used for propaganda.
Kweku Baako Jnr, has maintained that the criminal records of Capt. Koda, including haven broken jail, was “irrelevant” to his involvement in contracting three South African nationals to train NPP activists in armed combat trills and military tactics.
Captain Koda, had brushed aside accusation by government that he once broke jail during Chairman Flt. Lt. J.J Rawlings’ AFRC regime.
Captain Koda, who acts as a bodyguard to the 72-year old Nana Akufo-Addo, hours after being released from the cells of Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) on the grounds of ill health, had dared the state security apparatus to play audio recordings of his interrogation on the three extradited South African mercenaries.
He claimed he had never admitted to wrongfully inviting the three foreigners into Ghana, and getting them to train 15 NPP activists in military combat drills, weapon handling, and others things under the cover of the two private security companies, without the express permission of the Ministry of Interior as by law required.
Although, Captain Koda, spent years in exile throughout the 11 years of government of Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) led by Jerry Rawlings, as well as his two terms under the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Addo’s bodyguard, further claimed that ahead of his unlawful jailbreak in 1979, Mr. Rawlings, had demanded his unconditional release over acts committed in the name of the Pre-Trial Investigations Team (PIT).
PIT, was a deadly terror squad which operated under the AFRC Military junta headed by Mr. Rawlings, whose operation have been widely condemned by Kweku Baako, and NPP Founding Member, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe in the past.
Indeed, Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe’s book, “Never Say Die”; an Autobiography of a Ghanaian Statesman”, vividly documented the cruel tactics of Captain Koda’s PIT. The ex-Captain was a key witness at the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) under the Kufuor regime which heard cruel acts committed the AFRC, the PNDC and others starting the First Republic led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
The ex-Army Captain, whose lawyer, Nana Asante Bediatuo, had told Citi News that he was critically ill in the cells of the BNI, was speaking to a press statement issued in his name on Peace FM.
He did not sound like a man, who needed urgent medical attention as suggested by his lawyer and other NPP folks, who demonstrated at the party’s headquarters, saying he was dying.
An extract from the state-owned Daily Graphic, dated Wednesday, November 14, 1979 edition, reports a broke jail at the Ussher Fort Prison in Accra, involving two heavily armed men, who succeeded in releasing Captain Koda and four other prisoners from a lawful custody.
The story, which came with a screaming headline “Ussher Fort Raided,” mentioned the five as, Captain E.K Koda, Captain Victor Okaikoi, Staff Sergeant Monney, Sergeant Quartey and Sergeant Asmah, who were convicted by the “People’s Court” of the erstwhile Armed Forces Revolution Council (AFRC) for corruption. They were all involved in PIT.
They had violently pointed a gun at an officer; Lance Corporal Allotey on guard duty at Prison gate. They freed the five convicts driving on top speed, amid the firing of gun shots towards Bukom Square in Accra. They came back to Ghana years later from exile to join the NPP with Captain Victor Okaikoi, vying for the Odododiodoo Parliamentary seat, despite protest from Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe.
On Monday, March 28, 2016, the Interior Ministry, released a 14 point statement on the operations of the three South Africans, Captain Koda and Captain Acquah, whose hotel, El Capitano in Agona Duakwa in the Central Region, where the three South Africans, were based training the NPP activists, until their arrest last week.