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.
Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at CDD-Ghana, Dr Kojo Asante, told Citi News that a recommendation by the Emile Short Commission for government to reform the National Security Council Secretariat must be implemented without further delay.
â€œFor me, on the back of the Ayawaso report, I think we need to come back to the conversation around the reform of National Security. Moreover, we just passed a new National Security Act, and we need to look at the behaviour, the culture and the rest,â€ he said.
His comments follow the detention and torture of a journalist of Citi FM/Citi TV, Caleb Kudah, and the attempted arrest of another journalist of the media house, Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, for breaching an order that prohibits filming a security installation.
Caleb had gone to the headquarters of the National Security Secretariat to verify claims that some vehicles that had been abandoned at the premises for many months have been allocated.
Heavily armed operatives of the agency stormed the media house in Adabraka, Accra, to arrest Zoe because Caleb had sent the images and videos of the security installation and the vehicles to her.
They were prevented by the management of the media house, however, they detained and tortured Caleb for hours before releasing him.
Speaking on the issue that has grabbed national headlines and elicited a barrage of condemnations from many prominent Ghanaians, Dr Kojo Asante said it is time for the trend of security operatives infringing on citizensâ€™ rights to change.
â€œThis idea of the operatives of National Security going here and there doing police [work] and all that is something that the State needs to look at very carefully. I donâ€™t think that is what the constitution prescribes, but this is what the practice has evolved to be, and it must be looked at carefully,â€ he told Citi News.
Dr Asante described the recent incident as unprofessional because it breached the 1992 Constitution.
Caleb was later released but says he has severe pains all over his body because he was slapped, kicked and punched incessantly.