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General News
Rawlings'' accuser now battles UK police 4/10/2007
Ms. Georgette Djaba, the lady behind the controversial suit against former President Jerry John Rawlings, is now battling with a section of police officers in the United Kingdom (UK) for interrogating and detaining her for close to six hours.
Djaba wrote in a protest letter to F. A. O. Carol Andrews, Head of Holborn Police Station, in London, that she had gone to the police station on Friday March 23, upon the instructions and advice of Mr. Justice Forbes, the duty judge at the Royal Courts of Justice.

"I was interrogated and kept at your police station without any reason from 22:00 until 03:00 the next morning. The CID officers took away my British passport and solicitors'' practicing certificate and decided after nearly six hours that I should go home," she complained to the Holborn police boss.

She went on, "I asked your officers to arrest and prosecute Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings and they failed to do so, stating that they did not think they had jurisdiction. They stated that they wanted a court document such as a warrant to be able to carry out an arrest. They taunted and humiliated me and even stated that they were sure that I did not even know where Jerry Rawlings and his wife were residing."

Ms Djaba asked the police boss to explain to her, as a matter of urgency, why his men had failed to arrest Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings and why they detained her.

In her statement, Djaba noted, "FIt. Lt. Rawlings and one of his daughters are airline pilots and there is a real risk that he would flee the jurisdiction if he is given notice of this matter," apparently referring to her controversial suit against the ex-first couple.

"If he has absconded then it is possible that someone from your local office is responsible for tipping him off and I would be seeking a thorough investigation as to the inhumane and degrading treatment that I received in your office," Djaba warned the police.

She further suggested in her protest letter to the police that Mr. Rawlings could not be prosecuted in Ghana over the issues of human rights violations, which forms the basis of her suit, because the former president had "changed the constitution," and granted himself immunity for life.

Djaba further explains to the police that any prosecution of .Mr. Rawlings in Ghana has the potential of raising tensions in the country since, "FIt. Lt. Rawlings still draws crowds and has support wherever he goes in Ghana" and yet adds that he is a threat to society.

In an interesting twist, The Chronicle sighted a copy of an email message sent by Ms. Djaba to Ms. Janet Buerki Narh, a UK based Ghanaian journalist, narrating her frustrations about her failure to coordinate a Public Relations job for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and President John Kufuor during the latter''s recent state visit to Buckingham Palace on the invitation of the Queen.

Her frustration does not end with her inability to do the PR job but also about how the former first lady got publicity in the UK at the time she (Djaba) had failed to arrange for such publicity for NPP activities. She complained bitterly to Narh about allocation of airtime to the former first lady on BEN TV in UK at a time the president was still in that country.

Her legal action which is now shrouded in deep controversy was initiated after she had made those complaints about her failed PR attempt and the space given to Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings in a couple of media institutions.

Below is an excerpt of Ms Djaba''s email to Narh.

As you are aware, I was in the process of working out a live interview with the Prez during the Historic state visit. Nana Akufo-Addo had agreed in principle. However they left everything to Buckingham Palace Press Office to organise the programme of events.

I was totally taken aback when last Wednesday a friend drew my attention to the Women''s Hour Programme on 31 March and I heard parts of an interview with the former first lady.

The timing of the broadcast and live television was quite embarrassing for me personally. Nana Akufo-Addo called Matthew Kyeremeh and most of the entourage, family and friends to watch BEN TV in their homes. I understand it had been preceded with similar explosive and highly controversial radio interviews at Voice of Africa, etc.

At this stage, the Prez had not received much coverage from local, national and international media. BEN TV were about to get an exclusive or Scoop? And within one hour, my credibility appeared to be at stake. It was difficult to explain to any of the members of the NPP why I was about to take our Prez to what appeared in a split second to be a Hostile TV Station which had in effect allowed a live broadcast without editing of its contents, the platform to denigrate the Prez whilst the mainstream media and officials were congratu¬lating him for all his wonderful achievements.

I had to do something quickly as it had become a total PR disaster through what I believe is a lack of effective communication. If you had spoken to me about the slot being allocated to NKA-R (Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings) we could have discussed some strate¬gy. E.g. After all, televised events can be edited.

However it was difficult to get hold of him (President) as bodyguards would not allow autographs or pictures at certain times or getting anywhere close.

There were times when I was pushed and shoved by the bodyguards. I had never experienced anything like it. Well, I got the chance to shake his hand three times and have a brief chat. There are some photographs.

I had a list of people who could have done interviews such as Madam Ama Busia (I visited her twice) etc. I was too ashamed once the news broke out that I could not really ask the Prez about his diary. It really placed me in an awkward position.

I would be grateful if you could provide me with some form of explanation of events or timeline leading up to 15th March and why you were unable to inform me that Mrs. R (Rawlings) was about to go live on air on the very same show that I had originally agreed to assist you with. A South African gentleman who watched the programme informed me that it was rather and totally embarrassing.

Source:
The Chronicle



 
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