The National Security Ministry has revealed that Citi FM journalist, Caleb Kudah, was insincere about his identity when he visited the Ministry on Tuesday, May 11.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Chief Director of National Security Secretariat, Lt. Col. Ababio Serebour (Rtd), stated that Mr Kudah gained access to the National Security Building under false pretenses.
“Mr Kudah was detected on the said day, filming within the precincts of a national security installation contrary to the “no photography” rules at such restricted security zones. Upon interrogation, it was revealed that Mr. Kudah had gained access to the premises under false pretenses,” he said.
Mr Kudah was on Tuesday detained for unlawfully filming abandoned state vehicles at the premises of the National Security Ministry.
After detaining the Back Page host, about seven heavily armed officers stormed the premises of the Adabraka-based radio station in a Rambo-style with the intention to whisk away his colleague, Zoe Abu-Baidoo whom they claimed had received files from Mr Kudah.
After his release, the Citi FM journalist claimed that during the interrogation, the operatives pushed and kicked him in the groin.
He added that he was slapped repeatedly by the operatives till he felt dizzy.
Reacting to these allegations, Lt. Col. Serebour stated that the Ministry upholds the rights and freedoms of the citizenry and always strives to maintain the ethics and professional standards guiding operational duties.
The Ministry will, therefore, interrogate the matter.
“The Ministry takes with all seriousness, the allegations of manhandling of the two journalists during the interrogation. The Ministry has, therefore, initiated investigations into the said allegations,” he added.
Meanwhile, Roland Affail Monney, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), has said Mr Kudah was in breach of the Association’s Code of Ethics.
Although the journalist in question acted in the public interest, he said how he went about it goes contrary to Article 13 of the GJA Code of Ethics.
“Caleb erred, as far as our ethics is concerned. He clearly breached the ethics relative to Article 13 of our own Code of Ethics which specifies that journalists should take pictures through fair, straight forward and honest means unless tampered by national interest.
“His interest here is not so clear. From the face of it, we believe he erred.” the GJA President told Joy FM.
However, private legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini has disagreed with Mr Monney’s position.
According to him, breaching a code of conduct is not equal to a crime.
He also added that even though the Association’s Code of Ethics clearly spells out to journalists how they should obtain information, it also ensures that practitioners can secure the same in cases where they face interference.
“Assuming without admitting that he breached the Code of Ethics, what sort of crime is that? Is that a crime for which the police and the national security can arrest anybody?
“It is not, and we have to give that education very clearly. A breach of the GJA Code of Ethics is not a crime. There is public law, there is private law, and this one doesn’t even come anywhere close.”