Torture victim’s family to sue military

General News of Monday, 25 April 2016

Source: The Chronicle


Man Brutalize Christopher was severely beaten by the soldiers and sustained injuries to his back

The family of Christopher Bama, the 16-years-old boy who was brutally tortured by five soldiers from the Tamale Airborne Force has hinted of dragging the Military High Command and the suspected soldiers to court, for unjustifiably abusing the human rights of the little boy.

According to Mr. Kofi Konlan, an uncle of Christopher, a private lawyer in Accra has been engaged by the family to critically examine the case and advise them accordingly.

Speaking in an interview with the chronicle, Mr. Konlan said that the family was highly alarmed by the degree of pain, injuries and torture inflicted on poor Christopher by the five soldiers.

Mr. Kofi Konlan, who is also the administrator at the Nsawam Government Hospital, said that Christopher Bama at the moment could not be said to be a normal human being, since his condition continues to deteriorate by the day.

According to him, the only joy the family have at the moment was the fact that a scan result from the Korle-bu teaching hospital to confirm a suspected kidney problem had proven negative.

‘luckily enough, one of the scans the Doctors asked us to do at Korle-bu has come as good news because the scan indicated that Christopher’s kidney is still intact, even though the doctors were suspecting a damage of the kidney, due to a frequent discharge of some fluid’.

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Mr. Konlan said that though Christopher was responding to treatment, he could categorically say that: ‘his condition is not the best. Christopher is still very weak. He cannot walk on his own unless you support him.

‘There is no strength in him but we are still praying for speedy recovery for him’. He commended the nurses and doctors at the Nsawam government hospital for the way they were professionally managing Christopher.

Mr. Kofi Konlan said that nothing could change the family’s decision to take the culprits and the military high command to court for human rights abuse.

Meanwhile, the senior brother and senior sister of Christopher (the assault victim), Richard Bama and patience Bama, told the chronicle that the major challenge in catering for the victim was about how to get money for his medical expenses.

They told The Chronicle that the main culprit, Corporal Atuahene, had for some time now not been footing Christopher’s medical bills as promised initially and that the military high command was also silent.

Last week, however the Public Relations Officer of the 6 Garrison, Flying Officer Elizabeth F. Salifu and the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Tamale Airborne Force, Lt. col. Joseph Malik Punamane said that the corporal Atuahene as last week Wednesday had spent over GHC2,300 on the boy, a claim the family has fiercely refuted.

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The Chronicle gathered that the victim (Christopher Bama) was kept in the house by the family for close to four days, while looking for money, after the doctors at Nsawam Government Hospital had directed that the patient be sent to korle-bu for the kidney scan.

It would be recalled that, the 16 year old boy, Christopher Bama, was accused of stealing a techno mobile phone belonging to a soldier, Corporal Sampson Atuahene of the Tamale Airborne Force.

Corporal Atuahene and his four other soldier friends, including one Collins Agyei Boamah were said to have handcuffed and hanged the boy to a mango tree.

With his legs not touching the ground, the 16 year old boy, believed to be a long standing errand boy for Corporal Sampson Atuahene, was beaten till he allegedly fell unconscious, and yet the soldiers would not show any mercy.

To further force the boy to produce the missing phone he claimed he never took, the two soldiers, according to an eyewitness, melted plastic materials (polythene bags) and dropped them on Christopher’s naked body until he regained consciousness.

According to Patience Bama, a senior sister of Christopher Bama, the boy went to the military quarters at Shishegu near Nyohini to fetch water with someone’s motorbike.

Later, the soldiers called him to come back to the quarters, where they accused him of stealing the mobile phone and brutally assaulted him. Christopher could not pass urine, and was, therefore, given a Foley catheter to aid his urination.

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Before his transfer to Nsawam Government Hospital, the victim according to the Chief Executive Officer of God Cares Community Hospital in Tamale, Dr. Richard Opoku the patient (victim) had started behaving abnormally and was persistently vomiting, which, he said, was a sign of intracranial injury (head injury).

His condition, according to Doctor Opoku, was not getting better as further medical examination revealed that he had started discharging some fluid in the abdomen, and that they could not readily determine whether it was blood or peritoneal fluid.

Meanwhile the Northern Regional Police Command has told the Chronicle that there was no way the case would be swept under the carpet.

According to the Northern Regional Crime Officer, ASP John Anane, the police investigations were still ongoing but were waiting patiently for the certified medical report from the Nsawam Government Hospital where Christopher is receiving treatment to determine the specified charges to be pressed on the suspected soldiers.

The chronicles investigations are still ongoing, and we shall bring the detailed report on the actual date Christopher’s lawyer would determine for the legal suit to commence, and other development on the condition of Christopher Bama.