Clement Akapame, the lead counsel for Citi FM and Citi TV in the assault case involving one of the station’s journalists, Caleb Kudah, and the subsequent invasion of its premises by national security operatives, has welcomed the National Media Commission’s report on the case.
Mr. Akapame, speaking on Eyewitness News, said the NMC ‘s report brings the Commission’s part of the probe to an end, having buttressed the station’s insistence that the assault on its reporter and the subsequent invasion of its premises by the operatives was wrong.
“The NMC has also found that the handling of Mr. Kudah and the presence of operatives at Citi FM and Citi TV, and the manner in which they handled the whole issue was excessive, unprofessional, and wrong. I think that this goes to buttress what we said earlier on in relation to the statement that was issued by the National Security Ministry following their own internal investigation,” Mr. Akapame said.
The Commission in its report, following a petition presented to it by the management of Citi FM and Citi TV over the matter, concluded that the treatment meted out to Citi FM’s Caleb Kudah and the invasion of the media house by national security operatives in May 2021, was wrong.
It said all institutions of state must act within the law and use approaches that reflect democratic values.
“The National Media Commission has determined that the treatment meted out to Mr. Caleb Kudah by the Ministry of National Security operatives and the subsequent invasion of the premises of Citi FM & Citi TV on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, was wrongful. The Commission took the view that all institutions in a democratic state must act within the law and adopt approaches that reflect democratic values,” the NMC stated.
Mr. Akapame in further response to the ruling on behalf of Citi FM, said, “These are remarkable events that are happening in our country, and I want to thank the NMC for the speed, diligence, and dispatch in handling this matter. Looking at the sensitivity of the matter, they have worked around the clock and have issued in record time their report. And for that matter, I will say it is welcoming news from the NMC for the work done so far.”
Mr. Caleb Kudah was arrested at the National Security Ministry on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, for filming abandoned MASLOC vehicles parked at the premises of the Ministry.
He was at the Ministry to verify a claim by an official of MASLOC that all the cars had been given out.
This was after Caleb Kudah had complained about the wastage of public funds on social media.
A team of heavily-armed SWAT police officers subsequently were dispatched to arrest Citi News‘ Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo at the premises of Citi FM/Citi TV.
This is because Caleb had forwarded some of the footage he captured to Zoe via WhatsApp.
Mr. Caleb Kudah in an interview with Bernard Avle on The Point Of View on Citi TV indicated that he was slapped several times by the security officers.
About 15 organizations including civil society groups and political parties, have condemned the incident and backed calls for investigations, whiles calling for reforms in the national security setup.
The National Security after preliminary investigations said its officials acted inappropriately in breach of standard procedure while accusing Mr. Kudah of unlawful entry into its premises.
They have however been unable to charge Mr. Kudah or Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo.
Meanwhile, it has removed its Director of Operations Lieutenant Col. Frank Agyeman and three officers including the Commander of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) at the Ministry, DSP Samuel Azugu.
Col. Agyemang has subsequently been appointed as the Commanding Officer of the 64 Infantry Battalion of the Ghana Armed Forces while DSP Samuel Azugu has now been sent to the National Operation Headquarters of the Ghana Police Service.
Other organised bodies have been petitioned by the management of Citi FM over the incident.