Though he was born in Ghana, he was treated as if he was an not part of us. His national identity might have been different from that of Ghana, but his treatment was really a painful one. No one ever expected that such a popular United Kingdom Businessman would end up in police cell. Joseph Moukarzel was a UK National but was born in Ghana. He owned a big Casino in Ghana's capital, Accra. And due to his relationship with Ghanaians, he achieved a high feet in his business and made a lot of profit.
However, as he progressed and gained much grounds in the Ghanaian market, the Ghana Tourist Development Corporation (GTDC) made a move to take control over his thriving business. Unhappy with that, he called on the Accra High Court on July 11, 1989, and obtained an injunction and ordered the GTDC not to interfere with his business activities in relation to the casino he was running. Aside this, he was confronted with issues relating to eviction, which he contested so strongly.
Surprising, Moukarzel was stormed, arrested and detained by close to 30 Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and Immigration Personnel on 12th day of July in that same year. And on the 14th of July, his casino was ceased from any further operations, following an order from the Ministry of Interior, Ghana. It was alleged in the news that he was into illegal activities, since he had no residence or work permit.
Unable to defend himself, his casino, including other properties of his were taken over by GTDC. His lawyers were not even given the chance to make their case since it was plot from the top. Almost everything was controlled by Jerry John Rawlings, the ruler at that time.
Subsequently, he was tortured and sent to Accra police cell. There, Moukarzel was treated harshly and inhumanely, and on a more serious note, he was threatened not to file any legal suit against the Government. One man was instrumental in this activity: Nii Okaija Adamafio, the then Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Interior of Ghana.
In December 1989, after he was sent to another prison cell in Accra, he became so ill, and was exposed to extremely hash conditions. He emanciated in body size due to constant neglect and denial of basic necessities like food and water. In fact, he was forcefully sent on a hunger-strike.
It is so wondering this was happening under the watch of a leader whose National Anthem was justice and fairness. Was this really fair in his own eyes?
After spending some horrible moments in prison for some months, he was finally released in July 1990, and given one month ultimatum to leave for his country of origin, UK.
Content created and supplied by: Ghana'sthirdeye (via Opera News )
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