A broadcast Journalist with Akyemansa FM, a local radio station in Akyem Oda in the Eastern region owned by Ghana’s Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has been allegedly assaulted by some military personnel for filming a joint security operation on the streets of Akyem Oda.
According to the Morning Talk show host -Nicholas Morkah, the incident occurred when he was en route to an event and came across a large crowd gathered in front of the Akim Oda Post Office in the Birim Central Municipality.
Apparently, the Military and CEPS officers were conducting an operation to seize approximately 16 cars, primarily taxis that had entered the country without proper documentation, often referred to as “Togo Cars”.
As a journalist, he stopped to investigate.To his dismay, five heavily armed military officers from the Achiase Jungle Warfare Training School quickly surrounded him and subjected him to physical assault.
In an attempt to document this alarming situation, Mr. Morkah used his phone to capture a video. When one of the officers noticed him filming, they aggressively accosted him.
Identifying himself as a journalist did not prevent the officers from assaulting him.
They then forcibly whisk him into their vehicle alongside the other individual suspect and drive them away from the scene.
Ordeal at the Barracks
Mr. Morkah was then taken to the military barracks to meet the military Commanding Officer and Customs, Excise, and Preventive Service (CEPS) officers.
The Military Commander requested Morkah’s identification card, which he provided.
On orders of the Commander, one of the junior officers reset Morkah’s phone to its factory settings, erasing all stored information, including crucial documents necessary for his work.
The officers also inspected his other phone, finding video materials of police officers.
After viewing the videos and suspecting that Morkah might be an undercover journalist with sensitive information, they handed him over to the Divisional Police Command for further investigation.
Oda Divisional Police Headquarters
At the Oda Divisional police headquarters, the military officers transferred Mr. Morkah to the station office.
He was cautioned and made to write his statement.
Subsequently, the station officer charged him with Offensive Conduct and confiscated his phones.
With the intervention of Hon. Nelson Ntiamoah, Mr. Morkah obtained police bail of GHC5000.00.
He was instructed to report the following day at noon. Mr. Morkah requested his SIM card and a medical form to seek medical attention, both of which were provided to him. He received medical treatment at the Oda Government Hospital and was discharged on the same day.
Mr. Morkah is currently in the process of recovering from the physical and psychological trauma, brutality, and inhumane treatment he experienced during this incident.
He expressed his gratitude to those who have supported him and urged them to remain patient as they work together to ensure Ghana continues to uphold its democratic values.
Increasing attacks on Journalists in Ghana
Attacks on journalists in Ghana have resurfaced in recent times ahead of the 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
On October 7, 2023, 16 thugs, some of whom are constituency executives of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) invaded UTV during the night’s entertainment show.
The court convicted the 16 thugs to a fine of Ghc2,400 (US$203) each, a sentence that has been disappointing to stakeholders in the media industry.
Subsequently, a female journalist of Citi TV and Citi FM, Akosua Otchere, was on Friday, October 13, 2023, attacked while covering the vetting of the parliamentary candidate hopefuls of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Odododiodio constituency in Accra.
Perpetrators are yet to be arrested by Police.
The Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah strongly condemned the two attacks and assured journalists of the government’s commitment to protecting them to do their work without fear or intimidation.Source: Starrfm.com