Veteran journalist Fred Chidi has described the statement issued by the National Security, Minister Albert Kan Dapaah, on the assault of Citi FM Journalist Caleb Kudah as a “window dressing”, urging the Government to bring closure to the series of assaults on other journalists in the past years.
Mr Chidi who was speaking in an interview with Kwame Minkah on Power FM’s Dwaboase Monday morning argued that the Ministry has a responsibility to thoroughly investigate and punish persons who are reported to have manhandled various press men in the recent past.
Kudah was arrested by some National Security operatives and allegedly manhandled when he had gone to the National Security Secretariat to film some vehicles procured by the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) that have been grounded at the firm for long.
The premises of the Adabraka-based Citi FM was later raided in a war-style by the operatives who went to arrest another journalist Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo who had received the footages from Kudah earlier.
The Ministry of National Security says it has completed its investigations into the recent alleged assault on Citi FM journalist Caleb Kudah.
The sector minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, who issued a statement dated Thursday, May 20, 2021, indicated the conduct of Lieutenant Colonel Frank Agyeman and some police officers who reportedly assaulted Kudah on the said day was “inappropriate and contravened the Ministry’s standard operating procedures”.
The Committee also established that the journalists’ unauthorised entry into the premises of the Ministry of National Security was unlawful.”
Among the action taken by the Ministry are the reversal of the secondment of Lt Col. Agyeman as Director of Operations and the withdrawal of three police officers as operatives.
Lt. Col. Agyeman is to report to the Chief of Defense Staff for further investigation and appropriate action while the police officers are to report to the Ghana Police Service for investigations and disciplinary action.
“The Ministry of National Security wishes to assure the general public and particularly all media practitioners that the Ministry will expeditiously investigate any complaints against any personnel of its agencies,” the statement added.
But Chidi who has practiced journalism in Ghana for more than a decade and half believes the government has not done enough to stop attacks on journalists who are critical.
He said nothing has happened to the killers of investigative journalist Ahmed Suale more than 2 years after a politician with the NPP called for his retribution.
“Until I begin to see that the security apparatus in the country is able to bring the killers of Ahmed Suale out then i will have confidence. Until I begin to see that people like you [Minkah] who have been assaulted in the past; people like myself who have been assaulted in the past by security agencies; reports have been made. What have happened to the report? ” he asked.
“Lets go back 5 to 10 years [and look into that] if not what the minister wrote is just English,” Chidi added.”We are living under a state of insecurity.”
He quizzed, “How many of us are still confident to go out as a journalist or move confidently to do some piece of work which will be in the national interest without looking above our shoulders to see who is chasing us?”