Gabby Otchere Darko
Ghanaian lawyer and former Executive Director of Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, has suggested that it was wrong for the police to handcuff a serial caller of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Appiah Stadium, for allegedly accusing the President of smoking ‘wee’.
According to him, the president will be “extremely unhappy” over the development.
The Police in the Ashanti Region on Tuesday afternoon arrested the known serial caller in handcuff, for circulating an audio in which he accused the President Akufo-Addo of using a banned substance.
He is currently being transported to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters in Accra for further interrogation.
But Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, who is a cousin of the President, and a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in a Facebook post on the matter, said the arrest went against “all that he [President Akufo-Addo] stands for”.
“These things shouldn’t happen. I can see the president being extremely unhappy about any citizen being arrested for allegedly insulting him. It goes against all that he stands for. I may not be privy to the details, but I know whatever the justification the President will not like this one bit,” he said.
He added that, “He [Appiah Stadium] could have been invited without the handcuffs. Very unnecessary; uncool.”
Nana Akufo-Addo, who served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice under the John Kufuor government in 2001, led the government to ensure the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law that saw government controlling private media.
The repeal, which was largely praised by media owners and practitioners, de-criminalizes libel, and gives citizens the option to use civil means to check the practice of journalism in Ghana.
Many have said that, the repeal of the law, despite a positive stride, has resulted in irresponsible reportage and inappropriate content across some media platforms in the country.
But addressing the press in July, President Akufo-Addo said he did not regret his role in repealing the Criminal Libel Law even though he is one of those who has suffered the most from insults.
“I know there are some who take issue with the media on several fronts and even go as far as criticizing me for my part in the repeal of the criminal libel law because it has made the media too free. Even though I have been one of the greatest victims of the irresponsible section of the media… those who have created an industry from spewing falsehood and outright fabrication against my person, I don’t regret my role in the repeal of the old discredited law,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu, has told Citi Eyewitness News that their actions is grounded in law, and that they expect Appiah Stadium to give clarification on his claims against the President.
He said they had monitored the audio and the comments on social media, and that they did not need the approval of the Presidency to cause the arrest.