Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


We have published this article completely unedited because we believe the contents should speak for the man who wrote it.
1. L/Cpl Adongo John was involved in the Kumasi 2nd February 1985 shooting incident. I was among the unfortunate victims shot and arrested during the shootings. I feel it is my duty to let those who need to know, know why I was involved in the incident and my experience while under the grip of Ghana's J.J. Rawlings Security.


2. The aim of this report is to expose to those who wish to know, my experience while under interrogation in Ghana.


3. The scope of this report will cover the following:-

a. My Authobygraphy.

b. My involvement in the Kumasi shooting incident.

c. In Akomfo Anokyi Hospital.

i. Members of Interrogation Team

ii. Equipments used as an aid to Interrogation

iii. Mode of Interrogation

e. Escape.

f. Comments.

g. Recommendations.


4. I was born on 25th July 1964, at Takoradi, Ghana. I started my elementary education at the age of four (4) in Uddura Barracks Primary School, Kumasi. Other schools I attended included Zogbeli Middle School, Tamale and Afegera Middle School in the Upper Region of Ghana. I joined Junior Leaders Company in January 1979, at the age of fifteen (15).

After three years of military training, I passed out from Junior Leaders Company and got posted to Base Ordnance Depot of Ghana Armed Forces in 1982, I was still serving in this Unit until the incident occurred.

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5. Many people might ask why I got involved in such a dangerous exercise. The answer is simply narrated below. Immediately the LIMANN GOVERNMENT was overthrown by J.J. Rawlings, many reasons were advanced by Rawlings for overthrowing this Democratically Elected Government. The few that attracted my attention as a soldier were, the maltreatment of service personnel arrested for plotting coups and corruptions on the part of government officials and the rich men of the country. Initially we all supported for believe that he was going to solve these social problems in the country. What did we see after six months stay in office? Worse things were happening. A few of them was

a. Most members of the PNDC and those working in the PNDC office were more than rich. Almost every soldier working there had a car, started putting up buildings in their villages.

b. Innocent citizens were arrested and some lost after arrest.

c. Defenceless poor civilians were for no reason executed openly by soldiers who were even not questioned for murders committed. In some cases soldiers killed because they wanted to experience killing human beings.

d. Families feared to ask of their relatives being secretly murdered.

f. Poor judges and an innocent retired army officer of blesseth memory murdered and their remains burnt.

I cannot write the kind of inhuman crimes that were being committed those days.

6. I personally thought it was naturally unfair for J.J. Rawlings to remove the Limann Government, only to come and murder poor citizens of Ghana and even commit worse crimes he claimed were the fault of the civilian government. Consequently, when I was approached to help remove the wicked revolutionarist government, I readily agreed without questioning back.

7. On the 2nd of February 1985 on one of our final meetings we were attacked by those so-called blood thirsty commandos. The house in which we were meeting was demolished after heavy and concentrated fire was brought to bear on it. I was caught by three bullets and fragments of an exploded grenade. The first bullet got me just near to my left breast, the second one maybe a ricochet right at the lower centre of my chest, and the third one behind my left arm. I would not say I had any extra powers but simply that the Almighty God forbade my death. The grenade fragment had me on the left foot.

8. I was quickly rushed to the hospital.


9. Immediately the doctor finished treating me and was transferring me to one of the wards, a team made up of Capts Partinting, Kusi, Iddrisu, WOI (rtd) Gbekulatishie, Sgts Abatu and Gatsiko etc. ordered the doctor to release me to them. The poor doctor had nothing to say but agree to their request. I was then sent to a destination I did not know. There the preliminary interrogation started. I was asked to give names of persons involved. I was by then not well enough to talk. One of them used the AK47 rifle biyonet to plock one toe of mine and showed it to me. He was in the course of plocking off the second toe when the other started removing my wounds stitches, by tearing off the stitching threads, using the blunt biyonet. I could not stand the pain, so had a blackout. I was unconscious for some time. When I opened my eyes, I was in an aircraft being flown to a place I later recognised to be Accra Air Force Station.

10. At the Burma Camp Air Force Station, there rose an argument between them. Some of them suggested that I should be shot right away, while others insisted that I should be sent to the hospital. I was not shot but rather sent to the prisons.

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11. Generally, I had never been given time to regain my right frame of mind, so that I could say anything reasonable. Instead I was tortured with all kinds of equipments and devices that always made me unconscious. As it can be seen below, after they realised they were not gaining anything from me, they decided to execute my on the 18th May 1985.

a. Members of the Interrogation Team; I can only remember were

i. ASP Tinga-Naba Chairman

ii. Lt Cmdr Asase-Gyimah

iii. Capt Robert Sakyi

I can only recognise the remaining seven members by face. I do not know their names. They were however made up of both military and civilians.

b. Equipments:- I do not know their technical names, but they include:-

i. Drugs when injected into me makes me laugh and write. What I write I do not know.

ii. Spring Electric Heater which is used in burning me. Marks at my back are the end results of that device used on me.

iii. A tube into which my penis and testicles were inserted. When switched on generates heat, pulls and squeezes my sexual organs. Very painful.

iv. Flogging equipments. Used in flogging me almost daily.

v. High tension lights I am forced to look at when switched on.

vi. Some device inserted into my anus which generates heat. Very uncomfortable.

vii. A device with a pin inserted into my head skin with strips gripping my head. It makes any movement of the head very painful.

viii. A chair with certain devices and meter which, according to the chairman, reads whether I talk the truth or lies. It was used on me only once. The chairman openly told me that all I was saying was not true.

c. Interrogation. Itself: On the first day I remember telling them that the day I was arrested was the only time I went there on the invitation of Cpl Manu. I also insisted that I will only talk when I see Tsikata, Rawlings and Gen Quainoo. Most of the time interrogations were carried out in the nights and at different places. I cannot remember because I was always blindfolded and handcuffed. I had never had the time to ever talk. The torture always sent me unconscious, so I end up in the hospitals.

Initially we all supported him with the belief that he was going to solve those social problems in the country. What did we see after six months in office? Worse things were happening


12. I had the hint that I was to be executed on the 18th of May 1985, thus after I had seen the chairman. I would have been executed earlier, if the chairman had not travelled on the 14th May1985 and 15th being some day of celebration.

13. On 14 of May 1985, my close friends and who saw the unfair treatment given to me risked their lives to help save my life. I cannot say who helped me and how I escaped for the simple reason of endangering peoples lives.

My escape has already caused the arrest of people who knew nothing about it. They included

a. My mother, Madam Atasana now released.

b. Elizabeth Adongo, Sister also released.

c. George Adongo, brother, still under arrest.

d. Isaac Abubakari under arrest. blockmate still under arrest.

e. Ampah Kojo A friend still under arrest

f. Anamdapa nothing to me, still under arrest.

g. Adjei John - A friend still under arrest.

COMMENTS 15. My escape had nothing to do with all the people arrested. They are still being detained.

16. The torture in the prison and in Rawlings security is very inhuman. RECOMMENDATIONS 17. Innocent people including my relatives should be released because they are being unfairly treated.

18. The whole world, especially charity and christian organisations should take Rawlings Ghana on, for it is worse than what is being done in South Africa.

talking drums 1985-12-23-30 page 16 my experience as a gues of rawlings security

talking drums 1985-12-23 educating women for progress