Former President Jerry John Rawlings has been accused of 'unfairly' executing Major General Edward Kwaku Utuka (Rtd), an army officer.
Major General Utuka and seven other military officers were executed during former President Rawlings' 1979 military coup at the Teshie Shooting Range in Accra.
In a statement the children of the late Major General (Rtd) said: "Our father was murdered without any semblance of proper and fair trial by Rawlings and his cohorts...Rawlings has shown no sensitivity in his comments and actions to the widows, children (including the orphans he created) and families of the deceased over the years and continues to make provocative statements which are meant to incite hatred and anger, thus re-opening wounds".
Below is a copy of the full statement
We Deplore Rawlings’ Distasteful Comments. Our Father Was Not Given Proper and Fair Trial Before Being Murdered by the AFRC.
For the last 34 years, we the children of the late Major General (Rtd) Edward Kwaku Utuka have felt the need to keep a dignified silence about the ranting of Jerry John Rawlings regarding our late father and other senior military officers who were murdered following the June 4th 1979 coup d’état.
Thankfully, compassionate and discerning Ghanaians have expressed their outrage at Rawlings’ recent insensitive, heartless and outrageous statements concerning the extra-judicial murder of our late father and his colleagues.
Our beloved father was a professional Army Officer who served Ghana in various capacities with honour and distinction, and of this we are very proud.
Our father was murdered without any semblance of a proper and fair trial by Rawlings and his cohorts. Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) member Captain Baah Achamfuor and Squadron Leader Kosi Dargbe,
Chairman of Rawlings’ Kangaroo Court apparatus confirmed this on oath before the National Reconciliation Commission. It is now known that our father was killed in a sick bid to create ethnic balance and equalisation in the June 4th 1979 coup d’état murders.
Over the years, Rawlings has spoken and acted with impunity. While he enjoyed due process by trial through a Military Tribunal after instigating a mutiny on 15th May 1979, he denied our father that right. Rawlings singles out two Generals, one of whom is our father, General Utuka as having been “very corrupt”.
Rawlings should know that it is one thing to accuse a person of corruption based on rumours and another to actually prove them guilty in a court of law. If one were to apply Rawlings’ logic, several Ghanaian politicians, himself included, would be executed without trial.
Rawlings has shown no sensitivity in his comments and actions to the widows, children (including the orphans he created) and families of the deceased over the years and continues to make provocative statements which are meant to incite hatred and anger, thus re-opening wounds.
While preaching probity, accountability and justice all these years, Rawlings has never subjected himself to any of these principles and has characteristically hidden behind constitutional indemnity clauses to protect himself.
We say to the self righteous Rawlings that no precious human life is worth sacrificing even during the overthrow of a government. The so called “excesses” that took place during the June 4th coup d’état were human beings – people’s fathers, husbands and siblings.
We advise him to learn to be very circumspect in his future utterances about the injustices he committed against our father and his colleagues.
While we believe in freedom of speech, we call on all journalists and politicians to eschew glamourising the atrocious June 4th 1979 mutiny.
Romanticisng this event only serves to encourage Rawlings to rub salt in our wounds. As life is not over yet, the good Lord will judge!
CHILDREN OF LATE MAJOR GENERAL (RTD) EDWARD KWAKU UTUKA
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