Caleb Kudah, the broadcast journalist with Citi FM/Citi TV who was arrested by goons of the National Security Secretariat has revealed that he was brutalised by several men who arrested him for taking pictures to expose vicious waste taxpayers money on ghost cars.
Mr. Kudah was arrested yesterday for filming the car park of the Ministry of National Security where scores of saloon cars imported by with public funds by the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) had been rotting away for some years now.
Caleb Kudah, who narrated his traumatic ordeal on The Point of View on Citi TV, said he was detained and interrogated for hours on Tuesday, May 12, 2021, after irate National Security goons arrested him for attempting to expose the wanton waste of public resources.
“They pushed me and I sat on the chair. They [National Security operatives] slapped me from the back. I was trying to appeal to them that they had beaten me enough, but they were just slapping me from the back. I’ll be talking to another one and someone will just come and slap me from the back.”
He said one of the security operatives even kicked him in his groin.
They snatched his mobile telephone used for the filming and deleted the video. The security officers later realised he had already forwarded to another colleague at CITI FM, so they raided the radio station with assault weapons in search of Zoe Abu-Baidoo, the young journalist that Caleb had forwarded the video to.
Pandemonium struck CITI FM when the heavily armed state security officials in about five vehicles invaded the radio station.
Eventually, the management of Citi FM/Citi TV cooperated and allowed the hapless Abu-Baidoo to be whisked away too for interrogation.
Both Mr. Kudah and Zoe Abu-Baidoo were released later in the evening on Tuesday, sparking massive public outrage at the rising impunity of state security and the Akufo Addo administration in suppressing free speech in Ghana.
Meanwhile, private legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini, has pointed out that yesterday’s Commando-styled arrest of the journalists was illegal and they had no right to confiscate gadgets of any citizen without a warrant.
In a radio commentary on the development, Lawyer Anyenini points out that National Security’s explanation that Mr. Caleb Kudah had been arrested for filming an abandoned National Security installation makes nonsense of human rights protections in Ghanaian jurisprudence.
“No persons shall be convicted with a criminal offence unless the offence is defined and the penalty is prescribed in a writing law so If you say you are arresting me, you must read to me the offence and the offence must not be a writing on the wall,” Mr. Ayenini told Accra based Joy FM.
Lawyer Anyenini points out, the footages were about an abandoned national infrastructure and therefore filming it for news was in the public interest and therefore legal.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa, Mr. Suleimana Braimah, has lamented the manner the journalists were arrested saying National Security could have gone about it more civilly.
“I think it will have just taking a call to the management of Citi FM and say look this is what one of your Journalists has done. We engaged him and we realised that he has transferred the footage to a colleague at the station. These are perhaps sensitive images or images that are not supposed to be shared and we will entreat you to tell the journalist to act responsibly not to send out this photo that has been taken for A, B or C reasons.”
He adds that “An officer could have been sent there to talk to the management of the station so for six or so armed policemen to have stormed the station as if they were going to battle with armed robbers and so on is for me a no-no.”
The Akufo Addo administration has become the most notorious in media hounding following dozens of similar incidents in the past years when journalists attempt to expose rot in the administration. Some journalists have been forced into exile, hiding and even one journalist has been assassinated for probing a suspected corruption and bribery deal at the Jubilee House.
Ahmed Hussein Suale was shot at point-blank range by hired assassins when it became apparent that he was closing in on an undercover investigation where the disgraced former president of the Ghana Football Association, Kwasi Nyantakyi alleged a possible US$5 million bribe that was being prepared for President Akufo Addo, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia and some other ministers in return for mouthwatering contracts to be awarded to some investors interested in infrastructure in Ghana.