Court dismisses case against Modern Ghana journalists

An Accra High Court has dismissed the case against the two Modern Ghana journalists, Emmanuel Ajarfor and Emmanuel Britwum who had been slapped with three charges of conspiracy to steal, stealing and unauthorized access to electronic information.

This was after the prosecutor, Stella Ohene Appiah indicated to the court that she wanted to withdraw the case to conduct further investigations based on some new information received.

The case, which was called on Friday was presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe.

Editor for Peace FM, Yaw Obeng-Manu who was also put before the court and charged with unauthorized access to a password, was also discharged.

Meanwhile, one of the lawyers for Emmanuel Ajarfor, Sampson Lardi Ayenini described the proceedings in court as the first embarrassment for the prosecution, saying that the prosecution was trying to force non-existent charges on his client.

“They cannot find charges to press because there is none. If they forced themselves to find a charge, they will find some but they will be trumped up. This is the very first embarrassing somersault that you have taken so much time to prepare… This gives a clue that when there is nothing to deal with in court, you don’t force it because when you do, you will have eggs in your face… If they ever come back, we will still be here. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the unhumane treatment, the injustice and persecution for parochial interest will not happen.”

He was arrested with a colleague journalist, Emmanuel Britwum, also of ModernGhana last Thursday by persons who identified themselves as National Security operatives and sent to an unknown location allegedly for cyber-crimes.

While Britwum was released the day after, Ajarfor was detained until Saturday when he was released.

Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri later alleged that while in custody, they were subjected to physical abuse and torture.

Several Civil Society Organizations and individuals criticized the National Security Agency over the incident especially as it adds to the tall list of allegations of torture leveled against the agency by other suspects in different cases.

Lawyer Samson Lardi Ayenini indicated to Citi News that they were preparing to initiate a civil suit against the state agency.

But Mr. Britwum, in what appeared to be a sudden U-turn on Wednesday evening, released a statement through a new lawyer denying claims that he had been tortured neither did he see Mr. Ajarfor being tortured.

In the strongly worded statement, he said, he has not elected anyone to speak on his behalf on the ensuing matter.

“It is the case of my client that some attempt have been made in the media to draw in into the raging debate over an alleged unlawful arrest and torture-laden interrogation of Mr. Ajafor by the National Security,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Lawyer for Mr. Ajarfor, Samson Lardi Ayenini, has said he is surprised at the turn of events.

He suggested to Citi News that Emmanuel Britwum is not being forthright with his narration as he had earlier explicitly confirmed that he was tortured.

I interrogated the two of them, spent sufficient time and I asked Britwum almost about five times if he was assaulted.  His answer was yes.  He said he was slapped. He told me and my other senior colleague. We were there to represent them and took time to take them through a process for them to understand that we will not represent people unless we are sure that their stories are believable.  W asked the question, over and again which Britwum insisted that he was assaulted and said same to his manager and two other people,” he said.

Samson Lardi Ayenini has since announced his discontinuation of legal representation for Mr. Britwum.

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