2 NHIS Staff Charged With Assault Of Journalist

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERATWO staff members of the Ablekuma District office of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), who allegedly assaulted Adom FM’s News Editor, Afia Pokua and reporters Shardrack Kofi Assan and Samuel Sefa were hauled before an Accra Magistrate Court on yesterday.

The two, Israel Quarme Ayer, the Scheme Manager and Richjoyce Naa Deede Armah, the Public Relations Officer,who have been charged with assault and offensive conduct which breaches peace,  pleaded not guilty.

A third suspect, who also faces similar charges, is said to be on the run.

Meanwhile, the two were granted bail in the sum of GH¢8,000 with two sureties, to appear in court again on October 15, 2014.

Afia Pokua, Shardrack Kofi Assan and Nana Sefa, were allegedly assaulted last Thursday.

Samuel Sefa, a reporter with Adom FM, of the Multimedia Group had gone to the scheme office to report on the frustrations and complaints of persons who had queued since 3 am on Thursday, to go through biometric registration, got his mobile phone confiscated by Mr. Ayer.

Sefa managed to get Afia to intervene in the matter. But things took a different turn when she (Afia Pokua) got there in the company of another reporter, Kofi Assan.

According to Assan, the Scheme Manager released Samuel Sefa after he and Afia intervened.

The journalists walked out of the manager’s office to a hostile crowd, which accused the young reporter of going to hide in the manager’s office, leaving them to their fate.

Attempts by Afia, to explain matters to them infuriated Mr. Ayer who assaulted her, resulting in her sustaining bruises on her right thigh.

Assan said he also received severe beatings when he tried to defend his editor, claiming that his clothes were torn in the scuffle.

Afia and Assan reported the matter at the Kaneshie Police Station and were issued with medical forms to attend hospital.

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