Police place GH10,000 reward for information on Radio Ada attackers

The Police Administration has placed a GHC10,000 as reward for anyone with information that will lead to the arrest of persons who invaded and vandalised Radio Ada and assaulted some staff of the station in the Ada East District of the Greater Accra Region.

 “The police is committed to doing everything possible to find the thugs and deal with them according to the laws of the country,” a statement issued in Accra yesterday and signed by Superintendent Alexander KwakuObeng, Director of Public Affairs, and Ghana Police Service has said.

According to the statement, the police has put in place adequate measures to protect the radio station and its staff as efforts to arrest the culprits to face justice continue.

It, therefore, appealed to staff of the station and residents of Ada to remain calm as the police continue investigations into the attack which occurred last Thursday.

“A team of investigators and intelligence officers from the National and Regional Headquarters was currently supporting the Ada Divisional Command to investigate the incident and get those involved arrested and prosecuted,” it stated.

Already, it said, the Tema Regional Police Commander and his team had visited that radio station to engage the management and staff as well as briefed them on investigations.

“The team also engaged the chiefs, opinion leaders and community members on the incident and other security-related issues,” it added.

The decision by the Police Administration followed a call on the general public, especially residents of the Ada community, to disclose any information that can lead to the arrest of suspected thugs that attacked the station.

The Ada District Police Commander, DSP Andreas KordzoMifetu, in a radio interview on Friday stated that although investigations have begun, no arrests have been made yet.

“We will appeal to the people of Ada that the police will need their cooperation and their assistance in bringing closure to this.

“Because the incident happened in broad daylight and people might have seen them, they might have identified them. So we are appealing that anyone with information about the identity of these people to contact the police for arrests to be made,” he added.

Meanwhile, the government has condemned the attack and asked the Ghana Police Service to investigate the incident and punish the attackers.

It also asked that the office of the Coordinated Mechanism on the  Safety of Journalists at the National Media Commission (NMC) to take complementary action on the reported attack.

“There is no justification for a group of people to physically attack a radio station and its staff for comments  made on air,” a statement issued by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Information in Accra on Saturday, said.

The statement said if a party was aggrieved at media comments, there were legitimate and legal avenues for seeking redress including the NMC or the courts which constitute legitimate places to register displeasure at the conduct of the media for investigations. 

“Where content is believed to have the potential to offend the security of a jurisdiction, the Police may be invited to consider the situation and take appropriate action. 

“Attacks of this nature are however, totally unacceptable and the perpetrators must be identified and action taken in accordance with the law,” it said.

According to the statement, the Minister of Information, KojoOppong Nkrumah, had solidarised with management and staff of the radio station.

Radio Ada, has subsequently petitioned the National Media Commission (NMC), National Communication Authority (NCA) over the vandalisation of its properties by some assailants.

On his part, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sege, Christian CorleteyOtuteye, has condemned the attack on Radio Ada and  bemoaned the rate at which media houses were being attacked across the country.

He called on the Inspector General of Police, George AkuffoDampare,to launch an immediate investigation into the case and prosecute all persons involved.

MrOtuteye who termed the attack as “barbaric” urged the people of Ada and Sege constituencies to stand firm in unity and resist any act of intimidation and lawlessness.

Mr Noah Dameh, Radio Ada Deputy Station Coordinator , in an interview, said, that thugs, numbering about eight, one of whom was armed with a pistol, on Wednesday, January 13, entered the studio and forcefully destroyed the doors and invaded the on-air studio.

Mr Dameh said the gangs thereafter beat up a presenter, Mr Gabriel Adjawutor, and vandalised the on-air studio equipment – the console, microphones, and others.

He said the group also held two Radio Ada staff together with visitors at the station at the time of the incident hostage for several minutes.

He noted that a complaint has been lodged at the Big Ada Police Station and the Police had visited the Studio to take an inventory of the damaged equipment.

The Deputy Station Coordinator explained that the presenter who was beaten up has since been sent to the Ada East District Hospital for treatment and discharged.

MrDameh condemned the unorthodox means of seeking redress stressing that the law courts among others were available where anybody having any form of issue with a Media House or a citizen can go to.

He said using violent means does not resolve problems, “let engage and use the right means to address our problems in society,” and urged the entire Ada community to desist from activities that would threaten the peace of the area.

Mr Dameh noted that in view of the destruction of the properties, the station’s normal programmes would be temporally suspended, but would continue to broadcast news and play patriotic songs.

“Our listening community is assured that Radio Ada will thereafter continue to broadcast and that its commitment to inform and to give voice to the Dangme community, particularly those least voiced, remains unchanged,” he emphasised.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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