A freelance journalist, Sacut Amenga-Etego, has been arrested and detained by the National Security on the orders of the High Court (Criminal Court 5 Division).
He was arrested last Friday, February 25, and is to reappear on March 14, 2022.
The Court presided over by Her Ladyship, Lydia Osei Marfo, said that the freelancer “could be a security threat to the Court [Criminal Court 5] and the Court Complex at large, if not the whole country.”
Per the Court records, Justice Marfo said she heard noise outside her courtroom as she was calling a case for trial.
According to Her Ladyship, what she heard “on the corridors of this Court were not ordinary noise” prompting her to cause her Court Warrant Officer (CWO) to investigate.
A Detective Inspector Dometi Wisdom, from the National Security, upon being summoned by the Court, narrated to the Court how Sacut was spotted attempting to take a video of the National Security operatives and the accused persons while they were leaving the Courtroom.
According to D/Insp Wisdom, Sacut denied taking pictures and videos when confronted.
“I requested he showed us his phone. Lo and behold, I saw his phone on a video mode yet to take us in video. I quickly prompted my other colleagues to let Sacut surrender his phone so we can scroll through whatever pictures and videos he had taken so far. That was when he started shouting on top of his voice that he was not taking any pictures and he was not in the courtroom.”
While the Journalist was in the process of deleting the said videos and pictures on the orders of Her Ladyship, D/Insp. Wisdom says he got closer to him to see whether he was actually deleting the pictures and whether those pictures were taken in or outside the courtroom; and that it was at that point he saw images depicting the very courtroom.
Observing that the Freelance Journalist did not have the accreditation to cover Court proceedings, Justice Lydia Osei Marfo said she had “a reason to suspect the said person could be a security threat to the Court and the Court Complex at large, if not the whole country.”
Her Ladyship subsequently granted to the National Security operatives “leave to arrest Mr. Sacut and seize his phone and conduct any investigation as to the content on that phone in order to ascertain his motive and whether or not he has any intention to commit any crime.”
Sacut Amenga-Etego was also “ordered to provide the National Security Operatives an access to the phone by way of providing the password to the phone.”
His prayer to Court to allow him access to his lawyer was also granted by the Court.
“You have the constitutional right to have a lawyer but to the extent that the Court has specifically ordered them to do investigations in respect of the videos I personally have seen on your phone, you are supposed to comply with the order . Grant him access to his lawyer.”
“The suspect should be in the custody of the National Security operatives pending the outcome of the investigation till the next adjourned date.”