President Akufo-Addo is not interested in pressing charges against National Democratic Congress (NDC) communicator, Appiah Stadium, after the latter claimed in a viral audio that he [Akufo-Addo] smokes marijuana [wee].
The Minister for Information, Mustapha Hamid, in a release copied to citifmonline.com, indicated that Akufo-Addo has informed the Police Administration of his position on the matter.
The Ashanti Regional Police command on Tuesday afternoon effected Appiah stadium’s arrest upon instruction from the National Headquarters.
Appiah Stadium was subsequently handcuffed and transported to the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Accra to answer questions concerning his claims.
The development aroused public debate over whether or not the police was acting according to law.
Although the Director of Public Affairs of the Police Service, ASP David Eklu, said the Police had the right to arrest him, a former Minister of State under the John Mahama government said the arrest was not right since the President had not reported the case or pressed charges against Appiah Stadium.
Mustapha Hamid in the statement said, “H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo wishes to state that he is not interested in pursuing the matter in issue since same was ruled upon by the National Media Commission (NMC) on February 6, 2015. This followed series of publications in pro-NDC newspapers making similar claims. Lawyers for then Candidate Akufo-Addo took these newspapers namely The Al-Hajj, Enquirer, Informer, Ghanaian Lens and the Daily Post to the NMC to afford them the opportunity to substantiate their claims. They failed to do so, following which the NMC asked them to retract and apologize. The President is therefore, convinced that right-thinking Ghanaians recognize that Appiah Stadium is merely reciting from an NDC propaganda book, which has since been discredited.”
Nana Akufo-Addo, who served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice under the John Kufuor government in 2001, led the government to ensure the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law that saw government controlling private media.
The repeal, which was largely praised by media owners and practitioners, de-criminalizes libel, and gives citizens the option to use civil means to check the practice of journalism in Ghana.
Many have said that, the repeal of the law, despite a positive stride, has resulted in irresponsible reportage and inappropriate content across some media platforms in the country.
But addressing the press in July, President Akufo-Addo said he did not regret his role in repealing the Criminal Libel Law even though he is one of those who has suffered the most from insults.
“I know there are some who take issue with the media on several fronts and even go as far as criticizing me for my part in the repeal of the criminal libel law because it has made the media too free. Even though I have been one of the greatest victims of the irresponsible section of the media… those who have created an industry from spewing falsehood and outright fabrication against my person, I don't regret my role in the repeal of the old discredited law,” he said.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana