NTC vows to pursue police who brutalised 3 journalists

Management of the New Times Corporation has vowed to seek justice for three of its employees who were brutally assaulted by about 10 policemen in Accra on Thursday.

The three, Salifu Abdul Rahman, a Senior Assistant Editor, Malik Sulemana and Raissa Sambou both reporters were physically brutalised by the officers− their crime,  for engaging one Sergeant Ebenezer Asiedu for jumping red light and subsequently running his unregistered motorbike into their official assignment vehicle leading to the breaking of its  bumper, mirror and windscreen.

The assault had generated huge public outrage calling into question, the professionalism of some personnel of the Ghana Police Service as people tasked with maintaining law and order in the country.

Addressing a management meeting on the incident, the acting Managing Director of the Corporation, Mr Martin Adu-Owusu, said, the assault case must not be seen as the NTC versus the GPS but rather individuals of the corporation and some errant police officers.

He expressed regret at the slow pace at which the case is being handled and wondered why the policeman has not been charged for traffic offence at the very least.

He said the corporation acknowledged the fact that the service was made up of some very fine professionals who went about their daily activities with a high level of civility; however, there were a few bad ones whose actions continue to drag the name of the service into disrepute.

Mr Adu-Owusu noted that even though a lot of organisations and the general public had shown high level of solidarity with the assaulted journalists, it was the responsibility of the NTC to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book so that it could serve as a warning to other unprofessional officers in the service.

“If journalists who have the responsibility to inform, educate and entertain the public can be subjected to such brutalities, then you can imagine what ordinary citizens are going through in the hands of such brutish police officers,” he emphasized.

He said the corporation was poised to ensure that the matter was brought to its logical conclusion and when that was done, it would be a victory not only for the assaulted journalists but also the ordinary citizen whose taxes were used in paying these officers.

On his part, the Editor of the Ghanaian Times, Mr Dave Agbenu said some steps had already been taken to ensure that the police officers were brought to book.

He said it was unfortunate that the police would act in such a manner and it would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that justice was secured, adding that “It is some of these unprofessional attitudes that is causing the service to lose public trust.”

Mr Agbenu said a report would be made to the Ministry of Information to formally complain about the incident.

The Editor said the corporation was in the process of submitting copies of the report as requested to the Minister and also to the National Media Commission (NMC) as part of measures being employed to bring about justice for the three journalists.

The lawyer for the corporation, Mr Dometi Kofi Sokpor who was present at the meeting enumerated different steps the corporation could take to ensure that the culprits were brought to book.

He also advised on measures that must be employed by the corporation as body corporate and as individual journalists assaulted to secure justice.

By Cliff Ekuful

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