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01.09.2005 Press Review

Obuasi police apologise for arrest of Chronicle reporter


Obuasi, Sept 1, GNA - The Obuasi Divisional Police Command has apologised for the wrongful arrest of Albert Nana Asante, The Chronicle reporter at Obuasi on Monday August 22.

At a meeting with the Obuasi press corps on Thursday, Chief Superintendent of Police K.A. Oduro, the Obuasi Divisional Police Commander, described the arrest of Nana Asante as unfortunate and attributed it to communication gap between the District Police Commander and the Station Officer at the Obuasi Central Police Station.

He said the communication gap made the police to act unprofessionally and gave the assurance that such an incident would not happen again.

"I want to assure you that this unfortunate situation will not occur again and if there should be anything, we can meet and discuss issues together," he added.

Chief Supt. Oduro said "if the matter is pursued, it will mar the cordial relationship between the press and police. In order to maintain this relationship, it will be better we respectfully apologise for the arrest of Nana Asante."

Giving the situation that led to the arrest of the reporter, the Divisional Commander said Mr Edward Ennin, Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi on Friday August 19, reported to the District Police Commander that the Chronicle reporter was distributing defamatory materials about him and therefore wanted police action.

He said the MP was advised that if he felt libelled by the reporter, he should go to the civil court since the criminal libel law had been expunged from the statute books.

Chief Supt Oduro said the MP called again from Accra to find out whether the police had taken action to arrest the reporter and was asked to come down to Obuasi to sort out with the reporter but instead two of his (MP) brothers went to the Obuasi Central Police Station and lodged a formal complaint against the reporter.

He said the District Police Commander explained the situation to the two brothers and asked the police not to effect the arrest but regretted that the Commander's instruction did not get down to the station and so they ordered the arrest of the reporter.

The Divisional Police Commander in the meantime has stated that the police would see what they could do about the reporter's request for protection.