A member of the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, Rockson Dafeamekpor is accusing the police of abuse of powers in the “Rambo style” arrest of a journalist, David Tamakloe.
Mr. Tamakloe was allegedly arrested at gunpoint by National Security operatives on Thursday over claims of false publication and taken to the Airport police station.
In an interview with Citi News, Mr. Dafeamekpor, who is also the Member of Parliament for South Dayi said the action by officials to arrest and detain the journalist until after Monday, is inhumane and smacks of abuse of police powers.
“It is Easter, for Christ’s sake, he should have his freedom and then Monday or Tuesday, he can come back. Initially, they said he was trying to blackmail someone who had gone to complain, but when they got to the station, the charge was the publication of false information. His lawyer asked where the publication they were alleging was a fraud was, but the police could not produce any evidence or publication of the sort.”
He added that he thinks the arrest is just an attempt to stop the story from going public which is not right.
“What are the grounds for holding him in custody until next week? When the charge is one of a misdemeanor. If you look at the charges that the police are pursuing him on, they said false publication, but he hasn’t published the story yet. We think that it is more of an attempt to stop him from conducting further investigations to the story and publicizing it,” he added.
Previously: Mr. David Tamakloe, who is also the Vice President of the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana, was arrested over similar charges in October 2020, following a complaint by the traditional leader of Edubiase, Nana Oguahyia Oduro-Panin Birikorang.
On October 8 the journalist was taken to court and charged under section 208 of Ghana’s 1960 criminal code relating to “publication of false news,”.
Even though he never submitted a plea, Mr. Tamakloe said he was shown the charge sheet only briefly, then released and instructed to return to court on October 22 to be tried with Kwame Konu, a Ghanian citizen previously arrested for sharing the story on social media.