Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Peter Boamah Otokunor has criticised President Nana Akufo-Addo over the incarceration of Power FM presenter Oheneba Boamah Bennie.
The vociferous broadcaster was jailed 14 days by the Criminal Court 2 Division of the Accra High Court Tuesday for contempt of court. The court presided over by Justice Elfreda Dankyi also fined Oheneba GHS 3,000.
Oheneba had been dragged to the court by Attorney General, Godfred Dame over claims that he had allegedly threatened President Akufo-Addo and some Judges prior to the 2020 election petition hearing.
Otokunor who was speaking on Dwaboase on TV XYZ on Wednesday was quick to point to President Akufo-Addo for the imprisonment of the broadcaster who is known as a fierce critic of the NPP government.
“Kennedy Agyapong [MP for Assin Central MP] made a hate speech against an investigative journalist whose works exposed the President [in the famous Number 12 expose]. Ahmed Suale was killed after Kennedy Agyapong called for him to be dealt with but nothing has happened to him,” he argued. “President Akufo-Addo is intolerant…and he is becoming a political monster.”
The NDC deputy scribe held that criticising the government should not have called for the “persecution” of the Power FM news anchor no matter how harsh it was because previous presidents were criticised as well.
“If President Akufo-Addo had stopped the police from prosecuting Oheneba when he made those statement. The buck stops with the president and he cannot absolve himself from this persecution,” Otokunor told host Prince Kwame Minkah.
Meanwhile, in a statement signed by the CEO of XYZ Broadcasting, Bernie Anti, the company said it would “review the ruling and take the necessary steps as will be advised.”
“We wish to assure staff and the general public that the ruling will not dampen our collective resolve and commitment to speak truth to power,” Mr. Anti stated.
He also observed that Oheneba, though unwell, is in good spirit and pledged to “stand by him and his family during these trying times and pray that he gets the best protection while in the custody of the state.”
The A-G dragged Oheneba Bennie to court on December 2020 for contempt of court
It was the case of the A-G that, after the declaration of President Akufo-Addo as the President-elect by the Electoral Commission (EC), Bennie allegedly published a video on his Facebook wall, claiming that President Akufo-Addo had met with eight justices of the Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice, and had influenced them.
The A-G made a case that through his publication, Bennie wants to tell the public that judges, including the justices of the apex court, decide cases not independently but by taking directives from the President.