Under President Nana Addo regime, Ghana sees hike in detention, press freedom violations, abuse and arrest of reporters and journalists
Arbitrary arrests, torture, assault, verbal abuse, seizure and destruction of material have become commonplace, with journalists as the primary victims. Security officers’ propensity for attacks on journalists covering their activities on journalists in Ghana is becoming too frequent.
In 2017, when President Nana Akufo-Addo took office, at least 10 incidents were reported in the month of January 2017 alone.
The newly created National Security is full of the ruling party “footsoldiers or Kobolo boyz” Majority of these kobolo boyz have no formal education, employed after Nana Addo won 2016 elections. Most of these national security operatives terrorizes dissenting voices of the government and deploys all sorts of intimidation tactics including torture.
The National Security Minister Albert Kan Dapaah found himself in a big scandal after a video popped up exposing his extra-marital affair. The video which shows Kan Dapaah being intimate with his side chic has been trending like wildfire since it leaked online. This is very embarrassing! Just feeling sad for his wife and children.
“He refused to resign as the minister and the president did nothing about it”
As it turned out, the president Nana Addo has been accused by a social media commentator Evelyn Serwaa Broni of a crime. Her interview will be aired on Loud Silence TV on the 29 March, 2022 at 20.00 local time.
The following year on 27 March 2018, Latif Idris, a journalist with the Accra-based Joy News, was beaten to near death at the headquarters of the Ghana Police Service, leaving him with a fractured skull.
Two Ghanaian journalists with Ghanaweb Media (editor Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri and reporter Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum) arrested and tortured in custody by the national security staff on 27 June, 2019
Investigative reporter Ahmed Hussein-Suale was assassinated in cold blood just weeks after a member of parliament, Kennedy Agyapong called on his supporters to attack the reporter. Investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale was shot and killed on 16th January 2019.
National Security operatives: The Rambo-style storming of Citi FM in 2019 by National Security operatives arrested Caleb Kudah and female journalist Zoe Abu-Baidoo
Broadcast journalist Caleb Kudah, working with Accra-based Citi FM was physically abused on Tuesday 11 May 2021 while in national security custody without any formal charge.
In the case of Caleb Kudah, he was arrested and detained for allegedly filming state-funded vehicles that were abandoned around the national security office. He says some officers showed him messages he had posted on social media in the past that were critical of the government. He was brutally kicked several times in the groin and slapped mercilessly & was commanded to do 30 push ups when he eventually collapsed.
The Citi FM incident came just three days after security officers brutalised Peter Tabiri, a correspondent of Pent TV in Asankragua in the Western North Region. The security officers had overhead the journalist reporting on phone to another person on another raid.
On January 14, 2021, a police officer, Sergeant Solomon Tackie, arrested and detained Selorm Gborbidzi, a reporter of the Accra- based The Finder newspaper for filming a scuffle between him and a driver of a commercial vehicle.
The reporter was bundled into a police vehicle and taken to the University of Ghana Police Station where he was assaulted, locked up for four hours and released only after he handed over his phone for the recordings to be deleted
On April 15, 2021, some soldiers assaulted journalists who were covering a demonstration at La in Accra. The victims included Nii Ayikwei who works with Citi FM/TV and Desmond Osae Amponsah of TV Africa.
On August 12, 2020, a soldier identified as Lieutenant Frimpong attacked Stanley Nii Blewu, a cameraman with TV3 at the Tema Station in Accra. The soldier, who was enforcing a clean-up exercise at the bus terminal, also seized Blewu’s camera and the phone of Joseph Armstrong, also a reporter with TV3, before deleting all recordings from the gadgets.
British journalist Syed Taalay Ahmed, 31, who grew up in Hartlepool, was working for Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International (MTA) was assassinated by armed men in plain clothes in Ghana on 23 August 2021. It was alleged that, he was working on a documentary on security issues in the Northern Region of Ghana.
The “police”concluded it was an armed robbery gone bad.
On October 7, 2020, the police seized the mobile phone of the correspondent of Accra-based online newspaper Whatsup News and forced him to delete pictures he had taken of their raid on the newspaper’s offices to arrest the Editor-in-Chief, David Tamakloe, over a critical story.
On January 15, 2021, a group of “national security operatives” assaulted a news crew from Kumasi-based LUV FM at a suspected illegal mining site at Manso in the mineral-rich Ashanti region of Ghana. On the orders of the operator of the site, some military personnel suspected to have been privately engaged by the miner seized the camera and personal phones of the journalists and deleted all the recordings.
On 4th August 2019, journalist Della Russell Ocloo for the Graphic Communications Group Limited was assaulted by members of the Glorious Wave International Church in Accra while she was covering a protest at the church in the presence of some state security officers. The police acted aggressively towards her and attempted to take her phone and handbag.
Citi FM journalist Maxell Suuk reported being attacked by armed police officers on 6th August 2019 while covering a murder trial at the Tamale district court.Suuk said that he received permission from the Registrar to film the suspects coming out of the courtroom, but that police officers took his phone when they noticed that Suuk was filming, and deleted the footage. The Northern Region police command said in a statement it had directed the Regional Criminal Investigation Department to investigate the incident.
On 23rd June 2019, military officers physically attacked David Ankomah, a cameraman for Joy News, while he was covering a protest at a church in East Legon, in Accra. According to the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Ankomah was reporting on a protest by disgruntled customers of two investment companies – EL Real Estates and Tikowre Capital – owned by the head pastor of the Zoe Outreach Embassy Church, Kelvin Kossi Kobiri. The soldiers, who were invited by the church to keep the protesters at bay, physically assaulted the journalist and attempted to seize his camera.
The protesters, who accuse the investment companies of mismanagement of their funds, came to the journalist’s rescue and retrieved his camera.
On 5th July 2019, journalist Elvis Washington and cameraman Edward Twum, both reporting for City TV, were attacked by four staff members of the National Identification Authority (NIA) at the Mataheko registration centre in Greater Accra Region. The two journalists were interviewing frustrated applicants who were waiting in a long queue for the national identification project. NIA staff assaulted Twum and attempted to seize his camera while a security officer prevented
Washington from helping his colleague. According to news reports, some applicants have accused the NIA staff of asking for bribes to skip the queue in order to register for the national identification card.
Journalist Malik Sullemana for the state-owned newspaper Ghanaian Times was beaten by police officers and briefly detained on 14th March 2019. Sullemana, who is a court reporter, was beaten, searched and handcuffed after a confrontation with a police officer following a traffic incident in which the officer on a motorcycle collided with the Ghanaian Times branded vehicle that Sullemana
was driving with two colleagues as passengers. Sullemana said to CPJ that he was further subjected to kicks, punches and insults at the police station, leading to bruises on one of his arms, a swelling of his leg and a blood clot in his eye. Three police officers were suspended two weeks later while an investigation into the incident was being conducted, while another investigation was opened into the allegations of the beatings at the police station.
Investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni of Joy News went into hiding in March and April 2019, and eventually left the country, after having received death threats. The threats followed the airing of a documentary, ‘Militia in the heart of the nation’, on 7th March alleging the existence of a vigilante group associated with the ruling party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Radio presenter Kwabena Bobie Ansah was arrested rambo style by national security operatives around 22.35 in the premises of his workplace in connection with alleged publication of false news on 10 February 2022
Oheneba Boamah Bennie, a journalist with privately-owned Power FM, was sentenced in Accra on 8 February to two weeks in prison and a fine of the equivalent of 414 euros for “contempt of court” in connection with a video posted on Facebook in which he allegedly insulted the president by claiming that, after his reelection in 2020, the president met with eight judges to influence their decision in a legal challenge to the election result by his main rival, John Mahama. Bennie was taken to a prison outside Accra to serve his sentence.
Blessed Godsbrain Smart, a well-known journalist working for Onua TV (a TV station owned by Media Global Group) was arrested on 2 February in an alleged case of extortion, the details of which have not been disclosed by the police. This was the second time that Smart, who is renowned for being very critical of the government, has been arrested in less than three months. Because of his views, he was fired from Angel FM in April 2021 at the government’s request.
Eric Nana Gyetuah, a reporter for Connect FM, a radio station based in the western city of Takoradi, was trying to film a group of detainees on 3 February when the police subjected him to an exceptionally violent assault before handcuffing him and taking him to police station. He is still hospitalised with injuries to the eyes and mouth, and a perforated ear drum
On January 13, 2022, Two journalists were brutally attacked, tortured, and injured when ten heavily armed masked men attacked Radio Ada, a community radio 100 km east of Accra. It was a vicious attack. Staff were beaten, harassed and held hostage, the station’s equipment was damaged, and the on-air host at the time was sent to the hospital. The station suspended on-air operations for ten days as they dealt with the aftermath.
“This is an attack on the freedom of the media to report unobstructed, an attempt to silence and intimidate community from voicing concerns against government decisions to prioritize big business, and an attack on human and Indigenous rights, including the right to free prior informed consent. Radio Ada staff and the community of Ada are shaken, as the radio station is such an important part of the small community, but they are steadfast in overcoming this brutal attack.”
On Monday, 10 January 2022, some 20 heavily-armed policemen stormed the premises of Labone-based Accra100.5FM in Rambo-style in an attempt to arrest the station’s news anchor, Nana Ama Agyarko, for what they described as her obstruction of their work and abuse of a police officer.
Ayawaso West Wuogon shootings 2019-01-30
Some macho men in National Security attacked some opposition party voters at the Presby school polling station and fired at them. At least nine people sustained gunshot wounds and are now permanently disabled for life. 3 people have life threatening injuries.
Techiman South Election Violence ( 9 PEOPLE SHOT DEAD)
The 2020 elections, for the first time, saw the killings of eight (8) defenceless citizens, among whom were children by the state security operatives including the police, national security and the army with Techiman South recording a high number of casualties.
But over 1 year after the incident and with no one held responsible for the crimes, Mr. Mahama has insisted that it is important for justice to be done in order to forestall such occurrences from being repeated in future.
Social Media Commentator Kaaka death and Ejura shooting
Kaaka Macho, aged 40, a social media activist and a fierce critic of the government was murdered in cold blood by unknown persons outside his residence at Ejura in the Ashanti Region of Ghana on 27 June, 2021. It is alleged that he was murdered because of his criticisms of the hardships facing Ghanaians under the presidency of Nana Addo. Earlier threats to his life were reported to the police but no action was been taken by the police. In the aftermath of Kaaka,s death, Two people were shot dead by the state security officers after the youth of Ejura clashed with security personnel
GHANA MILITARY STORM PARLIAMENT on whose orders?
Armed soldiers Thursday stormed the Chamber of Parliament following the continued failure of the Members of Parliament-elect to elect the Speaker for the Eighth Parliament. The military officers who were heavily armed and clad in full regalia marched unto the floor of the Parliament during the elections of a speaker.
This incident happened in the night of January 6, 2021 under President.Elect Nana Addo.
The action by the military could have amounted to a coup-de-tat.
No officer or commanding officer was arrested or invited by the parliament. The president Nana Addo had never spoken on the issue.
Disenfranchisement of the people of SALL was deliberate
The Electoral Commission of Ghana under President Nana Addo denied the constituency of the SALL people to vote in the 2020 parliamentary elections. This is the strong hold of the opposition party. They were deliberately denied the rights to vote and never printed any ballot papers for that entire constituency.
Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) enclave without a representation in Parliament was one of the greatest travesties of democracy.
GHANA LAW SCHOOL SAGA under Nana Addo
499 students were denied entry into the Ghana School of Law even though the students passed the exam and that it is only fair that the General Legal Council grants them admission.
The GLC has become a “pro govt toothless council” The opposition MP and a lawyer ,Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, campaigned to push for their admission.
UNDER PRESIDENT NANA ADDO PRESIDENCY, lawlessness is high, judicial corruption is high, illegal mining is high, corruption is high, unemployment is high, armed robbery is high, hired killings is high, youth gambling addiction is high, disrespect for traditional authorities and chiefs is high, poor sanitation is high, nepotism and autocracy!!!
Written By: Desmond Afranie