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05.11.2010 Presidency

COMPLAINT AGAINST ADOM FM & JOY FM OVER FALSE NEWS REPORT OF ARMED ATTACK AND MASS RAPE OF PASSENGERS ON TAMALE BOUND PASSENGER BUS

By INFORMATION MINISTRY
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The Ministry of Information wishes to bring to your notice, a series of publications by Adom 106.3FM and Joy 99.7FM during the week ending October 29, 2010 in which they alleged among others that there was an armed attack on a Tamalebound passenger bus and the female passengers raped enmasse by the robbers and the male passengers in turn. The reports also claimed that a father was ordered to have sex with her 14year old virgin daughter at gun point.

The above, the two stations claimed, happened towards Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region with later reports suggesting that the incident took place around Ejisu in the Ashanti Region.

In subsequent discussions on these stations, the country was described as unsafe, the police doing little to protect the people, while government and President John Evans Atta Mills have been accused of failing to guarantee the people their safety contrary to his promise and mandate.

This false report and the prominence given to same by these media houses have obviously created substantial fear in the unsuspecting public leaving many citizens with a sense of perplexity and insecurity.

As has become obvious, investigations conducted by the Security Agencies have revealed that the claims by Amina the lady Adom FM put on radio without the requisite background checks is nothing but a fabrication. Several passengers including the driver of the same Yutong bus Amina has a ticket for, have denied her claims both to the police and publicly on radio stations insisting that they were not even robbed neither was there a mass rape. They have indicated that their bus was shot at but the driver sped off refusing to stop until they arrived at their destination
safely.

Government is convinced that the false, baseless, unfounded and unsubstantiated reports by AdomFM and JoyFM (which, was subsequently reported by other local and online news media), could have been avoided if little attention was given to the basic ethics of the journalistic profession.

It is my view that whiles enormous challenges confront the Government and the Security Agencies in fighting organized crime and protecting the citizenry, the last thing anybody should do is to compound the situation with fabrications and false alarm. These fabrications and false alarm only divert the attention of the already stretched men and women in uniform who are forced to investigate and pursue such claims which turn out to be false whereas they could have been allowed to focus and use such energies on real crime and actually protecting the good people of this country.

It is sad that this is not the only instance in recent times as the false GREDA death threat claim, the misrepresentation of the World Economic Forum Report among others remain fresh in the minds of Ghanaians.

I am therefore officially lodging a complaint against the two media institutions and demanding that they officially retract the stories and apologise to the Government, our hardworking Security Agencies and the good people of Ghana.

I am also urging that the consequences of such conduct is made clear to these media houses and that the NMC moves to remind them of their journalistic ethics and mandate.

JOHN TIA AKOLOGU (MP)
MINISTER
(Petitioner)

THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
NATIONAL MEDIA COMMISSION
ACCRA GHANA

CC:
CHAIRMAN
NATIONAL MEDIA COMMISSION
ACCRA GHANA

THE PRESIDENT
GHANA JOURNALIST ASSOCIATION
ACCRA GHANA

THE PRESIDENT
GHANA INDEPENDENT BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION
ACCRA

THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
GHANA POLICE SERVICE
ACCRA

THE NATIONAL SECURITY COORDINATOR
CASTLE ANNEX
ACCRA

H. E. THE VICE PRESIDENT
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
THE CASTLEOSU
ACCRA

THE CHIEF OF STAFF
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
THE CASTLE OSU
ACCRA

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