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Monday, May 17, 2010

Woman dies a at BNI

A 27-year-old lady has died at the offices of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) in Accra, out of what an anonymous source described as shock.

The lady was said to have been invited by the security agency to assist in an ongoing investigation, details of which were not made available to DAILY GUIDE at the time of filing this report.

Indeed, the lady could have died out of shock, given the intimidating nature of the BNI installation, an anonymous source told the paper.

The woman was accompanied to the BNI offices by her husband.

The BNI is one security agency whose dossier of tortures, with some of their victims dying in their custody during the heady days of human rights abuses of the 80s, is household knowledge.

In recent times, the BNI has gained notoriety for using unconventional methods to deal with cases before it. Suspects invited to the security agency have been refused access to legal counsel, raising questions about human right abuses.

The defunct National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), during their hearings of human rights abuses in the country, heard catalogues of such abuses from forcefully retired soldiers and policemen including civilians.

The security agency in those heady days carved a fearsome image for itself, with invitees getting excessively apprehensive even before hitting the threshold of the establishment.

The procedures applied by BNI operatives are designed to put fear into suspects, some of which, if not all, have been condemned by lawyers as being at variance with the human rights laws of the country.

At the height of the invitations extended to former ministers and appointees of the erstwhile Kufuor administration by the BNI, many legal challenges were raised by the counsel of such persons, which according to them, were deliberate attempts at trampling on the human rights of their clients.

The BNI has confirmed the death of the 27-year-old woman, who according to them, was invited to assist in an investigation on Thursday May 13, 2010. According to the Director of the BNI, in a release to the media, the lady, who arrived at their premises in the company of her husband, collapsed shortly before she met with investigators.

She was rushed to the 37 Military Hospital in the company of her husband, where she was reported dead after some attempts to resuscitate her failed, according to the Director, who added that “the woman was invited to assist with information when the tragic incident occurred.”

The BNI has meanwhile sent a message of condolence to the bereaved family.

By A.R. Gomda, Daily Guide

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