Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) – Eastern Region Chapter is calling for the immediate release of an Akwatia based reporter Ebenezer Ofori Agyei (A.K.A. Odiasempa) from custody after a Rambo style arrest and subsequent remand.
‘The GJA -Eastern Region is unhappy and vehemently condemn the circumstances that led to this unfortunate happening. We further call on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the entire police hierarchy to call DSP Yaw Agyekum Dankwa to order and investigate all allegations of extortion and corruption against him.’ the statement added.
The below full statement as copied to TNPNEWSONLINE.COM by the Eastern Region Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) chapter today.
*THE INCIVILITY AT AKWATIA MUST NOT BE ENTERTAINED!*
The attention of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) – Eastern Region has been drawn to a Rambo style arrest and subsequent remand of an Akwatia based reporter Ebenezer Ofori Agyei (A.K.A. Odiasempa) – respectively by the Akwatia Police and the Kade Magistrates Court last Wednesday November 14, 2018.
The GJA -Eastern Region is unhappy and vehemently condemn the circumstances that led to this unfortunate happening.
The police has indicated not to be in the position to tell us what really transpired except to say that the case has gone beyond them and that it was still being investigated by the Crime Unit. However, our investigations indicate that Odiasempa was charged for Impersonation and defamation for which he was hurriedly processed for court without a legal representation and was subsequently remanded by the court.
Since the police is not in the position to give us detail of the matter, we will present what we have gathered per our enquiries:
At about 3pm last Wednesday November 14, 2018, the Akwatia Police Commander, one DSP Yaw Agyekum Dankwa, ordered his men to arrest Odiasempa. The men effected the arrest and presented him to their boss. Eventually, DSP again ordered his men to Odiasempa’s home, ransacked his room and seized his laptops, phones and other electronic gadget. Odiasempa was locked up till Friday November 16, 2018 and was processed for court at about 11am same day on the charges of defamation and impersonation.
According to our enquiry, Odiasempa had gathered information which suggested that DSP Dankwa was allegedly misconducting himself in line of duty which sort to harass residents of Akwatia, especially drivers. The District commander was alleged to have been demanding bags of cement, fowls etc. from alleged recalcitrant drivers in exchange for their freedom. After gathering the negative reports from his sources which included some drivers operating in Akwatia and one of the District Commander’s junior officers, Odiasempa is said to have unsuccessfully used all means to approach the Commander to get his side of the matter.
Odiasempa went ahead to publish the story of the alleged misconduct of the Police Commander (though without his side of the issue) on a number of radio stations in the country.
According to our enquiry, upon hearing the news about himself, DSP Dankwa allegedly ordered his men to arrest the reporter.
Without any shred of protecting, promoting and condoning acts of unprofessionalism, the Eastern GJA believes the action of DSP Yaw Agyekum Dankwa is uncalled for and we wish to remind that the days of throwing media workers into jail in a ‘Kangaroo’ style is over.
As far as we are aware, the journalist was executing his duty to maintain sanity in the society by ensuring that society is rid of corrupt practices. In any case, even if Odiasempa’s work seemed to have defamed the police commander, there was an avenue for him to rejoinder. The Rambo style with which DSP Dankwa ordered his men to arrest him, seize his gadget, put him in cells and arraigned him before court as though he had committed a heinous crime, is uncalled for and deemed an abuse of power.
Again, we deem the police commander’s action to be intimidatory and an affront to freedom of the press and fundamental human rights as ascribed in the 1992 constitution.
We further call on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the entire police hierarchy to call DSP Yaw Agyekum Dankwa to order and investigate all allegations of extortion and corruption against him.
The GJA, and for that matter the Eastern Media, has enjoyed a mutual working relationship with the Ghana Police Service at all levels and we hope this relationship continues.
Ghana is far advanced to entertain this incivility. We also expected that the court would have also done due diligence since a charge of defamation or even impersonation could not attract a week remand on a defendant. This is harsh!
We equally call on the Chief Justice and Attorney General to investigate the particulars which influenced the Kade Magistrate Court’s decision to remand the reporter.
We are therefore calling on the police hierarchy and the judiciary to relook into this matter and ensure that due diligence and justice are followed. ODIASEMPA MUST BE RELEASED NOW!!!
*Chairman – GJA.*
*Secretary – GJA (ER)*
TEL: 0242027285 / 0208792950