Accra Mayor orders arrest of Multimedia journalists

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The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Saturday night ordered the arrest of a reporter and TV crew of Multimedia's TV station, MultiTV. The team went to film the living conditions of people of Mensah Guinea community after metropolitan authorities demolished make-shift structures housing them. The residents were accused of breeding cholera in the capital through insanitary conditions. Joynews’ Joojoh Cobbinah and Festus Solomon, reporters at the scene said while they were filming and speaking to some people in the community they were informed that the Mayor had come to arrest them. He said with the help of some residents, he was able to escape before the police arrived at the scene but their driver Felix Akunor, was arrested. Mr. Akunor said the Mayor seized his phone to prevent him from alerting his two-man crew who were covering the story. The driver said he was confronted  by two policemen, the Accra Mayor Alfred Okoh Vanderpuije and staff of AMA, for parking at the Mensah Guinea slum, which had been demolished. He said he was ordered to drive to the Ministries Police Station. “I told the police I had not committed any crime but they insisted that I write a statement about what I was doing at the community.” At the police station Mr, Akunor said he was interrogated for about two hours by police officers. The Mayor, who followed the police to the Ministries Police station, picked up a police statement form and drove away to write his statement. Head of Joynews Television Channel Emma Morrison and the Programmes Manager of Multi TV Abdulai Awudu spent over an hour at the police station inquiring why the driver had been arrested. The Police could not tell why they kept the driver except to say they were investigating circumstances under which the Mayor caused the arrest of the driver. One of the policemen said, “maybe he was arrested because of national interest.” The Mayor who returned to the police station refused to engage staff of Multimedia who had come to post bail for the release of the driver. He waved them off, entered the crime office, presented his statement and drove off. After the Head of Joynews TV signed the bail documents, the police asked her to bring the driver back for full investigations into the issue on Monday,8 September at 10 am. The Mayor is also expected to be at the police station to explain why he caused the arrest of the driver. However, Sunday afternoon, Mr. Vanderpuije told Joynews he ordered the arrest of the journalist because they were fabricating stories to make government look bad. “I had received a call that reporters from Adom TV had come over here and told the people they are here to help so they got them to lie down on the ground in batches and they were filming them to make a case that government had made them homeless”. He said within five minutes after receiving the call from the residents, he and a team of police officers arrived at the community arrested the driver after the other members of the crew absconded. He insisted the mission of the team was not to do genueine journlistic work but dent government's image with a concocted story.
Credit: Myjoyonline

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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