Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said the government is confident that a probe launched by the National Security Ministry into the alleged maltreatment of Citi FM/Citi TV’s Caleb Kudah will be thorough.
US-based Ghanaian lawyer, Prof Stephen Kwaku Asare, wants President Nana Akufo-Addo to speak on the alleged manhandling and other human right abuses meted out to a journalist by National Security operatives.
The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has said it is wrong for National Security operatives to be conducting their operations like they have the same powers as personnel of the Ghana Police Service.
President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Roland Affail Monney, is in hot waters following his comments on Wednesday that Caleb Kudah breached the Association's code of ethics when he filmed a restricted zone without permission.
Apart from an unrestrained public bashing on social media, many of his executives have also made critical comments against him.
Mr Monney told Joy News on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, that Caleb Kudah breached article 13 of the GJA Code of Ethics, which states “Journalists should take pictures through fair, straightforward and honest means unless tampered by national interest…”
Many believe the GJA leader goofed because that code clearly creates a caveat for taking secret photos and films.
However, the latest and perhaps the fiercest criticism against the GJA President for his comments is coming from pressure group, Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA).
ASEPA is calling for the removal of Mr Monney as President of the GJA.
ASEPA said in a statement that its call is based on the “reckless display of cowardice and individualism” and Mr Monney’s failure to uphold and protect the interests of all journalists in the country.
ASEPA insists, “whatever Code of Ethics Mr Monney was referring to is also subservient to the Constitution of the Land, our Criminal Statutes and any other enactment of Parliament and for which reason its violation should not attract this level of response from the so-called National Security or any other security agency.”
ASEPA also stated that the GJA President's assessment of the situation opens up more physical attacks on journalists who are deemed to have breached any code.
Caleb Kudah had gone to the headquarters of the National Security Agency to verify a claim that some saloon cars that had earlier been left in the sun for many months have been allocated.
The cars were imported by the Microfinance and Small Loans Center (MASLOC) for distribution to drivers on hire purchase but disagreements over the hire-purchase price delayed their distribution.
Caleb Kudah admits that although he started filming the abandoned vehicles without permission he was bent on verifying the authenticity of a tip-off that the vehicles have still not been put to use.
“I feel pains in my back and then in my side…my ribs. When people look close they say they see some marks here,” he said, pointing to his neck, “because I was slapped from the back,” he narrated on Wednesday, 24 hours after his detention and torture by operatives of the National Security Agency.
General Secretary of the GJA, Kofi Yeboah, believes Mr Affail Monney made a bad call in his assessment of Caleb’s actions.
“Caleb Kudah did not violate any journalism ethics in filming at a national security facility. Insofar as the public/national interest was at stake (as evidenced in his narrative), he was firmly within the bounds of journalism ethics, including Article 13 of the GJA Code of Ethics,” he was emphatic in a post on Facebook.
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has said Ghana’s existing legal framework needs reformation to protect journalists and uphold freedom and independence of the media as enshrined in the Constitution.
Eid ul Fitr is commemorated on the opening day of the Shawwal month and Muslims across the world pay their honour to Allah for offering them health and resistance through the month-long fasting time called Ramzan or Ramadan.