The National Media Commission (NMC) has begun an investigation into the alleged manhandling of two of Citi FM’s journalists, Caleb Kudah and Zoe Abu-Baidoo Addo.
This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, George Sarpong, in an interview with journalists in Accra on Thursday, May 20.
He confirmed the petition from the Accra-based radio station of which same has been forwarded to the National Security Ministry for their reaction in honour of the principle of natural justice.
“We have submitted the petition to the National Security Ministry for their comment and we have indicated the timeline and we expect that they will provide us with their response before 24th of this month,” he said.
“After that, we will meet with the parties on the 26th of May for the hearing. Our hope is that in that meeting, we should be able to conclude with the issues involved,” he noted.
This comes in the wake of an earlier announcement by the National Security Ministry itself that it is also investigating the issue.
In a statement released on May 13, 2021 and signed by its Chief Director, Lt. Col. (rtd) Serebour Ababio, the intelligence gathering organization took note of the allegations of brutalities against the journalists and commenced investigations.
However, responding to the issue of how the ongoing investigations at the National Security Ministry affects the Commission’s own investigations, Mr. Sarpong said the NMC’s investigation is independent of that of the National Security Ministry and that the Commission is bent on assessing the issue separately and provide a way forward.
Further, he assured journalists of the Commission’s support through the newly created office of the Coordinated Mechanism for the Safety of Journalists to investigate, validate and take the necessary steps on assaults of journalists.
He called for support for the office, emphasizing that the office will do all it can to guarantee the safety of journalists in the country.
“We want every journalists in this country to see this as a game changer once the constitution guarantees them the rights to do their work and offers them constitutional protection.
“This is the first time that we have been able to set up a mechanism that achieves that purpose of protecting the safety of journalists. So I want all of us to see the novelty of it and to rally behind the idea because ultimately, our collective safety as journalists will depend on how well we all work together to make the mechanism work,” he added.