The life of the Rawlings’s is characterised by many tales. One of them was told by Selassie O’Sullivan-Djentuh, the alleged ex-boyfriend of Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, the first daughter of the late Jerry John Rawlings (Rtd.) and Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings.
Selassie who at the time was enjoying a very good relationship with the daughter of the former first couple later got into their ‘bad’ books and things turned around for him.
He broke his engagement with Zanetor, when he suspected that she was having a secret relationship with her flying instructor.
In an account to the British Home Office when he was seeking asylum in the United Kingdom, Selassie in a five-page statement said “My relationship with Zanetor was not void of problems like in every relationship and I had a lot of pressure on me. Her condition for being in the relationship was a marriage which I promised and we exchanged rings.
During the summer of 1998, her siblings told me about Zanetor’s suspicious behaviour. I was also told of this by some of her guards. The suspicions were confirmed when I found out she was allegedly involved in a secret relationship with her flying instructor. I sent her rings back to her and broke the relationship. She became bitter especially after all efforts on her part to reconcile were unfruitful.”
Amidst an alleged death threat on his life, Selassie indicated he was charged with reckless driving by a public tribunal in Accra on March 5, 1999, after a big truck knocked him off his motorcycle.
“The driver of the vehicle refused to take me to the hospital and drove off. I was saved by a bystander who informed my friend who in turn informed my mother. I sustained several injuries and was bedridden for over eight weeks. The Police refused to divulge the identity of the driver and the manner in which the case was handled gave me grounds for suspicion.
Initially, the Police claimed that the docket was missing, then later the investigator confided in me that it had been called to the Castle, the Office of the President. He said he was only following orders and had been instructed to be silent. I was charged with reckless driving by a public tribunal on March 5, four months after the accident without the driver of the truck being charged. They later went on air to announce that I knocked a tipper truck and told the Police the motorbike belonged to the President. It was a big lie,” Selassie O’Sullivan-Djentuh narrated.
On January 15, 2000, Selassie said he was arrested by some soldiers sent from the Castle on his way to one of his mother’s estate in Accra.
He indicated that “upon arrival, I saw that there was a light blue van parked with two of my mother’s workers in it and five soldiers, some of the soldiers were in uniform. I approached the vehicle and enquired from the workers where they were going. The driver whom I later learnt to be W.O. Addo, ordered me to sit in the van. I enquired where they were taking me […] I was hit several times by one of the soldiers with the butt of his rifle whilst the others slapped and kicked me to a pulp. They hit my head against the van several times before pushing me in. When I was in the van, I heard on the radio that they had got me…”
He continued: “I was driven to the Castle, the seat of government. I was dragged out of the van and beaten again. I was shaved with an old rusty blade and later with a broken bottle. I was told that the President had ordered my hair to be brought to him. They said the President had also ordered them to kill me and dump my body in the sea. I know that my hair was collected. I do not know whether it was actually taken to the President.
“I was questioned about my relationship with Zanetor and how many times I slept with her. I was beaten up several times throughout my detention. I was questioned about my knowledge of the Rawlings’s estate (their properties and buildings) and I told them I knew nothing. The guards insisted Zanetor told me certain secrets and they wanted to know how much I knew. W.O. Budu alleged since my mother had gone on air about my abduction, they could not do what they had planned but they could chase me to any country I run to and finish me off.”
Selassie O’Sullivan-Djentuh maintained that his parents faced trial on three false charges of assault and deceit of a public officer and offensive behaviour.
He indicated that his mother’s 35 houses were razed to the ground by the Police who claimed to be following orders from above.
“The judge handling the case refused to listen to my evidence to support my parents’ defence. My brother Macky could not go to school because of threats he had received over the phone as well as the rest of the family. We are all living in fear.”
Selassie O’Sullivan-Djentuh noted that he didn’t doubt that the late President wanted him to be killed because of a father’s great love for his daughter, he was aggrieved that their relationship ended abruptly.