‘What are you waiting for?”- Dispatch Editor takes on Nat. Security over influx of ritualists on TV

Deputy Editor of the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, Peter Ankomah has bemoaned the inability of  National Security and the Ghana Police Service to deal with fake spiritualists and ritualists who appear on various television stations and promise to double money for individuals.

He also mentioned the National Investigations Bureau (NIB) and the National Communication Authority (NCA) to be able to use the laws of the country to deal ruthlessly with these spiritualists, saying their acts corrupt the moral fibre of the country.

“Why is it that they [law enforcement agencies] are not able to take action? he quizzed.

Kan Dapaah, Minister for National Security.

“I’ve been reading gthe Criminal Code and I see a lot of enough regulation or legislation that can be used against some of these things that happen on our television stations to the extend that section 208 has been used before,” Ankomah said.

Section 208 of the Criminal Code (ACT 29) deals with Publication of False news with Intent to Cause fear and Alarm to the Public.

According the code, ” (1) Any person who publishes or reproduces any statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace knowing or having reason to believe that the statement, rumour or report is false is guilty of a misdemeanour.

“(2) It is no defence to a charge under subsection (1) that the person charged did not know or did not have reason to believe that the statement, rumour or report was false unless he proves that, prior to publication, he took reasonable measures to verify the accuracy of the statement, rumour or report.”

To this end, Peter ankomah believes whilsts the media cannot absolve itself from the blame, law enforcers can rely on Section 208 of ACT 29 to deal with the ritualists who dupe people after appearing on TV and recalled how the same  Section has been used in the past to arrest and investigate some journalists who caused fear and panic through the publication of fake news and rumours in the country.

Kasoa alleged Ritual Killings

Ankomah’s comment follows the alleged killing of a 10-year-old boy by two teenagers at Coca Cola, near Lamptey, a suburb of Kasoa in the Central Region, last weekend.

The accused persons were last Saturday arrested following the murder of Ishmael, a Class Four pupil, for ritual purposes.

Appearing before the Ofaakor District Magistrate Court Tuesday, it was established that the teenagers had initially planned to kidnap him to demand a ransom of GH¢5,000, according to the prosecutor.

The accused – Felix Nyarko, aka Yaw Anane, 16, a mason labourer, who is the first accused, and Nicholas Kini Kwame, 18, a student and second accused, had planned to take the money and add Ishmael Mensah Abdallah, the deceased, to it to present to a spiritualist for rituals, reports Daily Graphic.

At the court sitting, presided over by Mrs Rosemond Vera Ocloo, the two were remanded in police custody to reappear on April 20, 2021, to allow the police more time to conduct their investigations into the matter.

But calling for a swift investigations, Peter Ankomah said the actions of the teenagers could be influenced by the unregulated activities of ritualists on various television stations in the country.

He stated the NCA and the NMC can regulate radio and televisoon stations such that the acts of charlatans who have taken over most TV channels can be wiped out of the media to bring back some sanity in the airwaves.

He said the activities of spiritualists and fake prophets who have inundated most television stations are against Public order and public morality and asked that if regulators do not strike and deal with them, their acts will have advserse negative effects on a lot of Ghanaians.


By Henryson Okrah||Ghana

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