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08.12.2006 General News

Two Journalists Barred From Press Conference

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Alfred Ogbamey, managing editor of the "Gye Nyame Concord", and Samuel Asamoah, a reporter for the newspaper, were prevented from covering a press conference by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) on 4 December 2006.

The press conference had been called by the GPHA in response to a teaser carried in the November 29 edition of the privately owned bi-weekly newspaper "Gye Nyame Concord", headlined "$16 million Scandal at GPHA?"

The teaser said that a whistleblower had accused Ben Owusu Mensah, director general of the GPHA, of benefiting from a US$16 million contract, which the authority awarded to a Chinese company recently.

Ogbamey told MFWA that, upon receiving an invitation to the conference, he and Asamoah went to the venue. However, the editor said Oscar Cudjoe, the public affairs manager of the GPHA, denied them access to the conference, saying it had been postponed.

During the press conference, the GPHA director general alleged that Ogbamey had been harassing him. He also accused the journalist of blackmail and mischief, and further threatened legal action against Ogbamey and the newspaper.

Ogbamey alleged that the director general used two senior police officers to harass him not to publish the story.

In a letter to the newspaper on 5 December, the GPHA apologized to the newspaper for not allowing its journalists to attend the press conference.