Today in history, On 4 January 1982, exactly 39 years today, President Dr Hilla Limann was arrested while trying to flee Ghana after being deposed in a coup on 31 December 1981.
On 31 December 1981 Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings with the support of small group of enlisted and former soldiers launched a second coup and overthrew the government of Hilla Limann of the People’s National Party (PNP).
Observers in Ghana said there had been widespread dissatisfaction with the sagging economy, 100 percent inflation, the lack of basic commodities and reports of rampant corruption.
The coup leader suspended Ghana’s constitution, banned all political parties and dissolved the council of state, an advisory body of which he was a member.
Hundreds of Ghanaians rode buses through the streets of the capital City, Accra, cheering Rawlings for his second coup in two years and naming the new council to run the country
In place of Limann’s People’s National Party, Rawlings established the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) military junta as the official government.
Dr Hilla Limann, who was ousted with his People’s National Party regime 31 December 1981 in a coup, ignored an order from the Provisional National Defense Council of Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings for all politicians to surrender.
Limann and three aides were arrested at Koforidua, 51 miles from Accra, after fleeing his official residence. They were taken to join 44 parliamentarians and Cabinet members who had reported to police.
Some officials of deposed Dr Hilla Limann’s government, escaped to Togo, Ivory Coast and Upper Volta, the reports said.
Some officials who stayed behind, including four ministers, heeded an appeal to report to police and military posts issued by the new ruling Provisional National Defense Council.
Ghana’s borders remained sealed, its airports closed and international communications uncertain.
In 1992, at the end of the PNDC military rule that overthrew him, Dr Hilla Limann once again found himself involved in politics and stood as the candidate of the People’s National Convention in the presidential election that year. He received 6.7% of the popular vote in the elections, coming third.