The Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service has released the editor-in-chief of Whatup News on bail but denied arresting him at gunpoint.
A statement signed by DSP Juliana Obeng, Head, Public Affairs, CID, said the investigative arm of the police service, “on Thursday, 1 April 2021, arrested the editor-in-chief of Whatsup News, Mr David Tamakloe”.
The suspect, the statement noted, “was arrested on alleged offences of attempt to commit crime, to wit: extortion, contrary to sections 18(1) and 151(1) and publication of false news contrary to section 208 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29)”.
“The suspect, after being cautioned, has been released on police enquiry bail to a surety to report on Tuesday, 6 April 2021 for further action. However, the CID denies any allegation of arresting the suspect at gunpoint”.
Earlier, South Dayi MP Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, had condemned as “most inhume” and “backward”, the “Rambo-style” arrest of Mr Tamakloe.
The member of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs Committee, in a statement, said: “The Rambo-style approach of effecting an arrest of citizens has been a subject for concern to many”.
“It comes as a surprise that nothing seems to be changing in this regard”, adding: “Mr Tamakloe was reported to have been picked up at gunpoint sometime yesterday.
Read the MP’s full statement below:
2nd April 2021
FREE DAVID TAMAKLOE TO CELEBRATE EASTER WITH HIS FAMILY
News broke yesterday that Mr David Tamakloe was arrested by some unidentified security officials allegedly from the National Security.
The Rambo-styled approach of effecting an arrest of citizens has been a subject for concern to many.
It comes as a surprise that nothing seems to be changing in this regard. Mr Tamakloe was reported to have been picked up at gunpoint sometime yesterday.
And particularly, on the eve of Good Friday knowing very well that he would be kept in police custody until after Monday, is most inhumane, unacceptable, backward and smacks of abuse of police powers.
A colleague lawyer, who followed up on the matter at the police station has recounted how the officers were unable to provide any reasons for his arrest. Just none and yet he has been denied police inquiry deliberately.
It is important that our security operate on the basis of transparency and with a certain sense of integrity. The image of the security agencies continues to decline over the years following the arbitrary and unexplained arrests of innocent citizens.
The sacrifice of professionalism on the altar of political expediency and making the security a tool for political manipulations would go a long way to hurt us all.
Mr David Tamakloe, the publisher of Whatsapp News was arrested in a similar fashion a couple of months ago without justification.
The state must not be seen to be expending its powers in an arbitrary manner. The state, rather than abusing its powers, is expected to protect the rights and liberties of its citizens. The consistent acts of picking up individuals without cause must cease now. Rule of law doesn’t mean the rule of a few. It means acting in accordance with our laws and not in accordance with our whims and caprices.
I am by this release urging the IGP to direct that Mr. Tamakloe is admitted to police inquiry bail so he can join his family at Easter and that if any prima facie determination is made after the Easter festivities, he can be properly arraigned in court so he would take steps to defend himself in the matter.
Martin Luther King cautioned that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Let us be guided.
Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, Esq
MP, South Dayi
Member: Const., Legal & Parliamentary Affairs Committee