-As GJA Demands Further Police Action Over Assault On Journalists
The Ghana Journalists Association says it has accepted an apology that the Police recently rendered to the inky fraternity after some journalists were assaulted by church members of the owner of the Glorious Word Power Ministries International, Rev. Owusu Bempah.
In a statement, released Tuesday, the GJA however demands that the Police adds to the apology, prosecutorial action against Owusu Bempah and his church for physically preventing journalists from entering the courtroom where he had been arraigned for threatening life on Monday.
“The GJA principally holds the view that the timely gesture of the rebranded Ghana Police does not and should not absolve the offenders from tasting the biting edge of the law as articulated by Article 17(1) of the Constitution which simply says no one is above the law,” the statement read.
“While the landmark trial travels its full throttle, we urge the law and order community not to allow the latest attacks against journalists to be overshadowed by the dominant case or swept under the carpet. Justice must manifestly and expeditiously be done for the victims to amplify the message that no one is indeed above the law,” parts of the statement signed by GJA President, Affail Monney, read.
On Monday, Owusu Bempah and three other persons with whom he had stormed the house of fetish priest-turned-evangelist, Nana Agadaa, brandishing weapons and threatening to kill, had been arraigned before court.
However, when journalists went to the court to cover the court proceedings, Owusu Bempah’s church members physically prevented them from entering the courtroom, assaulting some of them.
The Police, which says its own men too had earlier been assaulted on Sunday when they went to arrest Owusu Bempah however, quickly issued an apology to the media.
“We wish to give the assurance that journalists will be fully protected and allowed to do their work at all times including the subsequent coverage of the case,” the Police assured.
The GJA is of the view that the situation needs more than an apology from the Police to remedy it.
Affail Monney’s statement points out that selfsame Owusu Bempah in 2018, vandalized equipment at Hot FM and in 2019 stormed the premises of Radio XYZ in the company of four gun-wielding thugs in search of a radio presenter and walked away a free man.
It, therefore, urged the Police to bring him to book to serve as deterrence.