Media stakeholders in the country are calling on the security agencies and government to find the perpetrators and deliver justice following the murder of an investigative journalist, Ahmed Hussein Suale on Wednesday night.
The member of Tiger PI team was reportedly shot three times, twice in the chest and once in the neck by unidentified men riding a motorbike at Madina in Accra while he was driving home.
The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Affail Monney who briefed journalists on the issue in Accra, described the incident as sad and devastating, with a call on President Akufo-Addo to take personal interest in solving the mystery of the murder and bring the assailants to book.
“We also appeal to His Excellency, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the head of the Executive arm of government to take personal interest in seeing to the bottom of this matter,” he said.
According to the GJA president, the development is not only a sad one for media practitioners, but also to the country as a whole.
“The GJA is totally devastated by this heinous crime, and we believe every decent-minded Ghanaian will equally be. By sheer execution, the elimination of Ahmed passes as Ghana’s version of the infamous killing of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. This is, indeed a sad day for not only the media fraternity in Ghana, but the country as a whole.”
He said the rampant attacks on journalists in the country now has become worrying, especially in an era where civility and the rule of law are expected to reign the thoughts and actions of our society.
Mr Monney called on the Ghana Police Service, to as a matter of priority and urgency, launch a full-scale investigation into the killing. The killers must be made to face the full rigours of the law,” he said.
Mr Monney asked to journalists to stay calm and not be intimidated as they discharge their duties.
The chairman of the National Media Commission, Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh who was equally appalled by the incident described it as “double jeopardy”, saying it is an infringement of freedom of the media in Ghana.
“I think today is a very sad day for us because we have everything, we have a constitution that does not only guarantee freedom of expression, but which additionally guarantees freedom of the media, and so when you have a journalist practicing his job and his life is cruelly cut short like this, it is a double jeopardy. Double jeopardy in the sense that freedom of expression has been curtailed and freedom of expression has been undermined,” he said.
He called on all and sundry to equally condemn the abominable act, and volunteer information to the security apparatus to enable them arrest the perpetrators.
He also called on the public to be observant in other to help security agencies to discharge their duties.
“This incident that occurred, if three shots were fired and all of that, it could mean there were witnesses to that, but I don’t know how many of those who were there that if the Police were to ask them how do the people look like, many of us may not be able to describe, but that is part of helping the investigation process. The things that happen in other jurisdiction is not magic, it’s because there is collaboration,” he said.
Meanwhile, members of the Tiger Eye PI team have said, the attack will not dissuade them from discharging their work.
A member of the legal team for Tiger Eye PI, Sammy Darko told the media in Accra on Thursday, that the incident is unfortunate and an attack on investigative journalism in the country.
“This is not an attack on Tiger Eye PI, but rather it’s an attack on investigative journalism as a whole and to a large extent the practice of journalism in Ghana, and it’s time that all of us speak out against such deadly attacks,” he said.
But the leader of Tiger eye PI, Anas Aremeyaw Anas who was present at the event refused to make any comment on the attack.
As comments of the attack on Ahmed continue to pour in, former President John Dramani Mahama has condemned the attack, with a call on government and security agencies to expedite action in arresting the perpetrators.
Mahama who is currently campaigning in the Eastern Region to seek the votes of delegates to become the flagbearer of the NDC said, “Journalists should not be killed because of the work they do, but recently there’s been a spate of killings and we urge the government and the investigative agencies to be up and doing and bring this perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice.”
However, President Akufo-Addo in a social media post shared by the Jubilee House communication team, has also condemned the attack and expressed condolence to the victim’s family.
By Asabea Akonor