An opposition member of Ghana’s Parliament, Rockson Dafeamekpor has questioned the “Rambo style” arrest of a journalist, David Tamakloe by the police in the capital Accra.
Mr. Tamakloe, was reportedly picked up at gunpoint by National Security operatives on Thursday over claims of false publication and taken to the Airport police station.
This is the second time the Editor-in-Chief of Whatsup News has been picked up by the police over similar circumstances.
But in an interview on Accra-based Citi News, Mr. Dafeamekpor, who is the MP 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 misdemeanour. 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.
Police deny claims
Meanwhile the police have confirmed the arrest but denied claims the journalist was arrested at gunpoint.
The Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service said in the statement issued on Saturday, April 2, that the suspect is being investigated on alleged offences of extortion and publication of false news.
Mr Tamaklo’s offence is contrary to Section 28 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), the CID said.
“Suspect after being cautioned has been released on police enquiry bail to a surety to report on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 for further action”, the police said.
“However the CID denies any allegation of arresting the suspect at gunpoint”, the statement signed by spokesperson of the CID, Juliana Obeng concluded.
Source: Daily Mail GH, Citinewsroom.com contributed to this report