A network of media practitioners in Ghana and across the world has called on President Nana Akufo-Addo to reverse the re-assignment of Lt Col Frank Agyeman as Commanding Officer of the 64 infantry Regiment.
The media practitioners, fronting as the United Press for Development Network (UPDN) say the new assignment given to the military officer who allegedly assaulted a journalist constitutes a promotion and sends the wrong message to the public.
â€œThe exoneration and promotion of Col. F. Agyeman by the Ghana Armed Forces is a notorious departure of the National Security preliminary investigation outcome of the Citi FM and TV journalists assault and raid.
â€œThis is an uttermost disrespect to the people of Ghana to say the least, and we condemn it, in no uncertain terms,â€ UPDN said in a release issued on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
Col Agyeman has been in the news for a while now for allegedly ordering and taking part in the torture of Citi FM/Citi TV journalist, Caleb Kudah on May 11, 2021, at the National Security Ministry.
The senior security officer, according to the journalist, kicked him in the groin while he was kneeling on the floor as part of the many assaults he suffered.
Col Frank Agyeman, then Director of Operations at the National Security Ministry, was sent back to the Ghana Armed Forces for further investigation and action for his role in manhandling the journalist.
The decision to withdraw the secondment of Col Frank Agyeman and to return him to the Armed Forces, according to a statement signed by the Minister for National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, was taken after investigations into the alleged assault on the journalist.
The release from the Minister stated that Col Agyeman and three of his men breached standard operating procedure in the way they conducted themselves and hence ordered the withdrawal of their services.
Many said their withdrawal from the National Security was not punitive enough.
However, in a new twist, a leaked Ghana Armed Forces reveals Col Agyeman has rather been re-assigned to the 64 Infantry Regiment, an elite unit of Ghanaâ€™s military.
The UPDN said in the release on the matter that Parliament must file an urgent question or constitute a probe into the incident as it resumes duties today, Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
Public outcry for justice for the Caleb Kudah has been sustained for over three weeks because of numerous accounts of physical assault and human rights abuses by the National Security operatives against journalists and other private persons.
The journalist explains he was arrested and tortured for hours for secretly filming abandoned, and weather-beaten vehicles parked at the precincts of the National Security Ministry.
Many say the leaked memo justifies criticisms that the Nana Akufo-Addo administration supports and is maybe fanning the rising spate of brutalities against Ghanaians who are deemed critical of the government.
Read the full statement by UPDN below
APPOINTMENT OF LT. COL. FRANK AGYEMAN AS COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE 64 INFANTRY REGIMENT: WE DEMAND ANSWERS FROM PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO (COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE GHANA ARMED FORCES)
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
We have observed with consternation media reports, demonstrating appointment of Lieutenant Colonel Frank Agyeman as Commanding Officer of the 64 Infantry Regiment.
Considering the refusal to deny the news reportage and loud silence of government, we are tempted to believe this unfortunate development and hereby call on the Presidency (President Akufo-Addo, the Commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces) to immediately show interest to discontinue the stillness on a matter that seeks to disrupt public confidence and embolden cruelty in our state security architecture.
The exoneration and promotion of Col. F. Agyeman by the Ghana Armed Forces is a notorious departure of the National Security preliminary investigation outcome of the Citi FM and TV journalists assault and raid.
This is an uttermost disrespect to the people of Ghana to say the least, and we condemn it, in no uncertain terms.
We call on the peopleâ€™s representatives (Parliament) to file an urgent question or consider Parliamentary probe into the matter as Parliament resume duties today Tuesday 25th May, 2021.
The unconstitutional and lawless arrest, detention, assault and needless show of bravado at the premises of Citi FM/TV if goes scot-free will not only boost security operatives to misconduct themselves, but has the tendency sinking the gains and credentials of Ghanaâ€™s democracy and jeopardize our security.
We also urge the National Media Commission to expediate investigations into the case as petitioned by Management of Citi FM/TV.
Office of United Press for Development Network (UPDN)
KOFI ASANTE MENSAH
DAVID ALBERT QUAINOO
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS MANAGER