July 21, 2010

The Minority in Parliament says it will lodge a formal complaint with the police regarding three different instances where leading figures of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) made public statements that caused fear and alarm.

This is in a bid to highlight what it believes is the selective application of the law.

The action of the Minority follows the decision of the police to charge the acting News Editor of Joy Fm Ato Kwamena Dadzie for allegedly publishing news with intent to cause fear and alarm.

According to the Minority, government is exploiting an unjust law to persecute individuals with dissenting views.

Minority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah Bonsu alluded to a statement made by the General Secretary of the NDC in 2007 suggesting that all 17 flagbearer aspirants of the then ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) were thieves going to assemble to select the “head thieve”.

“What was more scandalous or fear-inducing, panic-inducing than what Asiedu Nketia said? Was he arrested? Would they arrest him now?”

“The former president, Rawlings…also stated that regarding the unfortunate murder of 17 women; he said the murders were caused by some Cabinet Ministers within the NPP,” he cited.

“Why has the NDC chosen to be selective in their application of an otherwise bad law anyway?” he asked.

He said the Minority will not allow ordinary citizens to be targeted selectively by the government using state agencies like the police.

In a related development the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) has joined a growing list of institutions condemning the development.

The CDD is demanding the immediate cessation of all actions started by the police on the matter.

In a statement issued last night, the Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Professor Gyimah-Boadi, called on government and Parliament to repeal the law used to charge the acting News Editor of Joy FM.

The legal officer of CDD, Kojo Asante, told Joy News government must stop the continued application of the law he describes as obnoxious and archaic to criminalize free speech, adding the law violates Ghana’s international legal obligations.

The charge against Mr. Dadzie emanates from a news item on Joy FM suggesting that the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association withdrew their petition against the STX housing deal after threats on the lives of members. Mr. Dadzie was charged after he refused to name the sources behind the story.

Source: Joy News/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana