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Crime office replies Kabral

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Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere - NMC Chairman

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has hit back at the National Media Commission (NMC), saying the commission is exhibit­ing its incompetence by shifting blames.

According to the Executive Director of the EOCO (formerly Serious Fraud Office), Mr Mortey Akpadzi, one of the major problems of the media in the country was the NMC, which he said was covering up its incompetence by shifting the blame on to the EOCO for prosecuting its mandate.

Mr Akpadzi, who was reacting to state­ments alleged to have been made by the Chairman of the NMC, Mr Kabral Blay­Amihere, at a forum to mark the first anniversary of the sixth commission in Accra on Tuesday, said he found it hard to believe that the NMC was faulting the EOCO for investigating some heads of media institutions.

He said the EOCO’s investigations were sometimes based on allegations as they appeared in the media, saying that the EOCO was a serious body which could not be manipulated by anyone, adding, “We are professionals and no one can ‘use’ us.”

According to media reports, Mr Blay­Amihere lashed out at the police and the EOCO for indulging in acts which impinged on press freedom.

He was reported to have stated that three chief executives of state-owned media were at various times the subjects of investigations and that in two instances, the EOCO requested that certain officers be interdict­ed, without any evidence warranting such an administrative action.

Mr Akpadzi, however, said that his outfit only acted when there were allegations against such officials.

He asked why the NMC had finally interdicted the Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) after the EOCO had asked for that action to be taken months ago.

The executive director said his outfit was a serious office which could not be manipu­lated by anyone, including the government, adding it would not be deterred by any­body and that it would continue to do its work as per its mandate.

Mr Akpadzi said presently, the EOCO was investigating some top officials of state-owned media organisations, saying that it was acting on allegations made against those individuals in the media.

He said the EOCO was a law enforce­ment agency which would continue to per­form its functions to the letter, noting that “if the NMC is afraid of legalities, then it is its own problem”.

Mr Akpadzi said the very people, who over the years, had accused the EOCO of being a toothless bulldog were now afraid of it.

Source: Daily Graphic

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