The Circumstances under which a Ghanaian resident in Holland died at the hands of the Dutch Immigration in February this year are yet to be unraveled, as family members of the deceased are being kept in perpetual darkness.
Failure on the part of the Dutch authorities to tell the cause of death of Mr. Allan Koomson, after he was arrested by the Dutch police and handed over to their immigration counterparts for allegedly working without a permit, has sparked confusion and discomfort among family members, who are waiting to have information on the cause of death of their relative.
The family of the deceased, through their lawyers, have petitioned the Ministers of Interior and Foreign Affairs, to assist in investigating circumstances leading to the death of Mr. Allan Koomson, who had lived in The Netherlands for more than 10 years.
The family members, who are determined to get to the bottom of the issue, complained bitterly that the Dutch government had failed to provide them with the cause of death of their relation, close to a year after the incident.
According to them, an attempt by the Dutch government in May this year to pay an undisclosed compensation to the 80-year-old mother of the deceased was botched, as they did not hear from the representative of the Dutch government, who was expected to make the presentation.
Presenting the facts and sequence of events leading to the death of Mr. Koomson, the petition indicated that the deceased was arrested on December 9, 2009, in Amsterdam by the Dutch police, and detained for allegedly working without a permit.
The deceased was noted to have called his sister, Mrs. Cecilia Ankrah, who resides with her husband in Leeds, U.K., on February 14, 2010, to inform her about his arrest and repatriation process to Ghana.
The petition further noted that on February 21, this year, the deceased’s ex-wife, Ms. R. C. Nuamah, called to inform Mrs. Ankrah that Mr. Koomson was on life-support in hospital, and that a family member was needed to sign for its removal.
A day after, on February 22, this year, an executive of the Ghanaian community in Amsterdam, one Nancy Owusu Sekyere, called to inform Mrs. Ankrah about the death of her brother.
Negotiations were made with the Dutch government to get the mortal remains of the deceased sent to Ghana on March 16, this year.
However, the sister of the deceased, who was to secure an autopsy report on the cause of death, could not secure a travelling visa to Holland.
Since Mrs. Ankrah could not make it to Holland, she could not enquire about the deceased’s Social Security contributions, as he had worked as a regular immigrant for several years in Amsterdam.
Additionally, she was unable to ensure that the personal belongings of the deceased were sent to Ghana.
On April 16, this year, one Ama Darko, a staff at the Ghana Embassy in Holland, was noted to have spoken to the mother of the deceased and two other sisters to find out whether the deceased had any survivors.
The sisters were then informed about the intention of the Dutch government to send some representatives to Ghana to render an apology, console the family, and to pay a token as compensation to the 80-year-old Madam Agnes Annan, mother of the deceased person.
On May 17, this year, a staff at the Legal Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Accra, called Ms. Dorcas Koomson, a sister of the deceased, and demanded that she bring the mother of the late Koomson, who resides at Akim Oda, in the Eastern Region, to Accra at 10:00 a.m. the following day, May 18, to receive the token compensation from the Dutch official visiting the country.
The petition further emphasised that the official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs insisted that if the old lady did not come to Accra, as scheduled, the compensation would be taken back to Holland.
On the contrary, the mother of the deceased person could not travel to Accra, due to the short notice, and also her age. The difficulties encountered, were transmitted to the official.
Dorcas, who is working in Accra, received a call later in the day from a Dutch national, who introduced himself as one Mr. Koning, a representative of the Dutch government, who was to pay the compensation to the late Koomson’s mother.
Being aware of the difficulties in conveying the mother of the deceased to Accra on a short notice, Dorcas Koomson suggested to Mr. Koning to travel with his team to Akim Oda, as an alternative, to meet the old lady personally, and make the presentation.
This alternative suggestion, the petition noted, was accepted by Mr. Koning, who promised to call early in the morning of May 18, this year, to inform Dorcas of the time the team would make the trip to Akim Oda, but nothing was heard from him again.
The petitioners have therefore, called on the two ministries to assist in unraveling the mystery behind the death of their relation, and deal with all issues arising out of the death.
Source: The Ghanaian Times