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21.08.2002 General News

GBC Ordered To Retract Story

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THE Wuaku Commission probing the Yendi crisis yesterday ordered Ghana Television (GTV) to retract and correct a misleading report it carried on August 18, this year, that former Interior Minister, Alhaji Malik Al-Hasan Yakubu and three others who appeared before it last week have been cleared by the commission. It also ordered Radio Ghana to retract a news item it carried at 6 a.m. yesterday that Alhaji Yakubu and others would re-appear before the commission today, August 21. The three others are former National Security Adviser, Lt Gen Joshua Hamidu, Major Abubakar Sulemana (rtd) of the National Security outfit and Alhaji Aminu Amadu, an Accra-based businessman. This follows an application made by the counsel for the commission, Mr Yaw Wiredu-Peprah at the commission's sitting yesterday calling for the retraction of the stories since they would undermine the commission's work. Mr Wiredu-Peprah noted with concern that his name and that of the commission's secretary, Mrs Regina Apotsi, were quoted in the radio news as having granted an interview to the GBC Radio correspondent who filed the story. He called on GTV to disclose the source of its story that the commission had cleared the four persons. The chairman of the commission, Mr Justice I. N. K. Wuaku, invited the GTV and Radio News correspondent in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr Leonard Amengor, to explain why the stories were twisted. Mr Amengor said the original script for television, which he sent to Accra, was different from what was broadcast. According to him, he never used the word “cleared' but instead used “discharged” as announced by the chairman of the commission when the four persons appeared before the commission. He said when he heard the news on GTV, he quickly drew the attention of his Show Editor, Madam Lucy Brown, to correct the wrong impression. On the radio news story, Mr Amengor said the story was filed by one of his subordinates while he did the editing. He said the story did not indicate that the reporter interviewed the two people but rather it was an interaction Mr Wiredu-Preprah had with reporters after the commission's sitting on August 15. Mr Amengor tendered the original scripts. In his ruling, Mr Justice Wuaku said, “it seems to us that some people are trying in subtle ways to blackmail the commission.” He reiterated that the commission was set up to promote peace in Dagbon. Mr Justice Wuaku said that it is not the intention of the commission to punish anybody who appeared before it and stated that in the case of the journalists, the commission would not punish them.

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