Civil Society Organisation, OneGhana Movement has described the posture of Ghana Police Service in the build-up to the killing of journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale as shirking of their responsibility.
The group insists that the Police did little to avert the unfortunate incident and suggested they could have done more to protect the life of the journalist.
OneGhana movement stated in a press release issued on Friday that 'the failings of the Ghana Police Service smacks of the prioritization of party politics over national interest'
Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong exposed the image of Ahmed Hussein-Suale, an investigative journalist and member of Anas Aremeyaw Anas' Tiger Eye PI, in a documentary aimed at unraveling the persons behind the 'Nuber 12' investigative piece.
In the course of the documentary, the Assin Central legislator is allegedly made comments instigating staff of his media house to assault Ahmed Hussein-Suale if he comes close to the premises.
On Wednesday, January 16, 2018, Ahmed Hussein-Suale was shot and killed by two men on a motorbike close to his residence in Madina.
"In this regard, the OneGhana Movement seizes the opportunity to reiterate the call by many for the police service to rid itself of all political influences and manipulations, actual or perceived and take bold and decisive actions against all suspected criminals. The impression of impunity may encourage retaliation from other interested parties and may ultimately lead to violence and the destruction of the fabric of the State" the release by OneGhana Movement went on to say.
Read the full press release by OneGhana Movement below.
ONEGHANA MOVEMENT REACTION TO THE ASSASSINATION OF TIGER EYE PI
INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST AHMED HUSSEIN-SUALE
The despicable and gruesome assassination of Ahmed Hussein-Suale marks a major failing of the State akin to the murder of the Judges in 1982. Ahmed was shot three times, twice in the chest and once in the neck by gunmen riding a motorbike late Wednesday night, January 16, 2019, at Madina in Accra while driving home. ? ?
Ahmed was one of Tiger Eye PI journalists whose photographs the Member of
Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Agyapong circulated in his appearance on NET 2 TV ahead of the screening of 'who watches the watchman' anti-Anas video documentary.?
On a programme on Net 2 TV which is owned by the MP, he called on the public to assault Ahmed and he Kennedy Agyepong will bear any financial consequences from it.
OneGhana Movement is of the view that by revealing the identity of the undercover anti-corruption journalist, Kennedy Agyepong imminently imperiled the life of Ahmed Hussein-Suale. While he may have exercised his right, Mr Agyepong’s position as a member of parliament, the public and the constitutional expectations of that office require that he is more circumspect in his public utterances.
Just as the Bible says, “all things are permissible but not all things are constructive”. All members of the public who also circulated the photograph of Ahmed Hussein-Suale and other photos purported to be Anas on social media without seeing the danger in it also contributed to endangering the lives of the undercover investigators. This represents an irresponsible use of social media and an affront to good citizenship.?
Mr Agyepong’s call on the public to assault Ahmed for a reward is despicable and irresponsible of a Ghanaian and more so, a member of parliament who should be an example and beacon of lawfulness and responsible citizenship. ?
Public Policy Accountability And Party Politics Over National Interest
The incitement of harm against Mr Ahmed by Mr Agyepong was not secret but public and known to the Ghana Police and the security agencies. This was a flagrant breach of the Criminal and Other Offences ACT(Act 29) section 74 which makes the threat of harm a criminal offence. The failure of the police to arrest Mr Agyepong and bring him to book is a betrayal of the trust the State has reposed in it. The Ghana police failed in its duty of care to Ahmed Hussein-Suale and the people of Ghana.
Suffice to say, the failings of the Ghana Police Service smacks of the prioritization of party politics over national interest. It is worth asking, would the IGP sit aloof if a non-ruling party bigwig or commoner were to incite people to assault him or the president for a reward? We are all Ghanaians and the creeds of fairness, equality and rule of law should not be allowed to remain empty platitudes.
In this regard, the OneGhana Movement seizes the opportunity to reiterate the call by many for the police service to rid itself of all political influences and manipulations, actual or perceived and take bold and decisive actions against all suspected criminals. The impression of impunity may encourage retaliation from other interested parties and may ultimately lead to violence and the destruction of the fabric of the State.
Those who commit the heinous crime of killing courageous journalists and undercover investigators know that to silence journalists is to silence the voices of all those who speak through the media, or who might be tempted to speak in future.? ?
Courageous journalists are often among the few forces defending democracy, exposing corruption, taking on powerful people in society or at least offering some check on their
Courageous journalists are the last hope to whom citizens turn when the justice delivery system such as the police and courts fail them.? ?
The people rely on courageous journalists and undercover investigators when political institutions fail them, to inform them of what is really happening.? ?
1. We call on the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo, National Security, Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) to as a matter of urgency smoke out the perpetrators else journalists and undercover investigators will remain assassination targets for corrupt persons and their assigns.
2. Arrest and prosecute Mr Kennedy Agyepong for inciting and threatening harm to Ahmed Hussein-Suale.
3. Bring to book all officers of the police and security services whose commission and omission contributed to the death of Ahmed Hussein-Suale and the failure to act against the threats by Mr Agyepong.
4. We further call on the IGP to as a matter of urgency, show leadership and update Ghanaians on the state of investigations into the recent murders and guarantees to bolster security for all, moving forward.
OneGhana deeply regrets the recent murders and the seeming state of lawlessness and demands immediate action and resolve from the government in this respect. The imperatives of human security in democracies cannot be overemphasized and we expect that the government will demonstrate the needed urge to restore the sense of security in the capital.