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Saturday, October 3, 2009

NPP’s Safo-Adu Is Dead

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Dr. Kwame Safo-Adu passed away yesterday at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra at the age of 81.

The former Minister of Agriculture in the Busia regime was a presidential aspirant in 1992, 1996 and a founding member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He ran a successful private practice as a physician and is said to have been indisposed for some time now.

The late physician and industrialist has a chequered political and business history, having been arrested and detained for about three weeks on the orders of the PNDC junta in October 1990 at the James Fort Prison for three weeks.

This was a time when political persecution in the name of sabotage to the economy was rife. He was accused of 13 charges of misapplication of public property and committing acts with intent to sabotage the economy of Ghana.

He ran a successful pharmaceutical firm, Industrial Chemical Laboratories (ICL), and his factory was seized by a horde of men. Others detained alongside the physician/businessman were Adrews Kumi, a senior bank official and Frank Kwaku Bruce, a senior Ministry of Health official.

Hon Kwamena Bartels who was a co-director of the company was also arrested in mid-1990 and charged based on a report by the National Investigations Committees, which was responsible for initiating prosecutions before the public tribunals.

The tribunal, chaired by Kweku Boakye-Danquah, ruled that the loans he secured could not be regarded in law as public property, adding that the charges were misconceived and disclosed no crime. The charges, he explained, arose out of civil contracts arising from agreements between his company and the state-owned National Investment Bank.

Unhappy with their acquittal and on all charges by the tribunal, the then Flight-Lieutenant J.J. Rawlings was quoted as saying, “The law...can sometimes be an ass”.

The prosecuting authorities, following the acquittals of Dr Kwame Safo-Adu, Kwamena Bartels and Andrews Kumi Wontumi, filed an appeal.

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