Media General, the mother company of Onua FM and Onua TV have warned that comments made by the host of Onua FM’s Morning Show, should be interpreted in the manner that the Police did.
The media conglomerate in a statement copied to GhanaWeb, said the company is increasingly becoming concerned about the new trend of the arrest of journalists and media practitioners.
The company further indicated that the recent trend has affected journalists who work with Media General and are simply doing their work and, like every Ghanaian, should be protected by the Constitution.
“Media General believes that the statement made by Captain Smart should not be one that should be interpreted in the manner that the Police did and also to add that, we are increasingly concerned about the new trend of arrest of journalists and media practitioners.
“This recent trend of picking journalists has affected journalists who work with Media General who are simply doing their work and, like every Ghanaian, should be protected by the Constitution,” the company said in a statement issued after the release of Captain Smart.
The Nima Divisional Police Command arrested the host of Onua Maakye, the morning show on Media General subsidiaries Onua TV and Onua FM.
At about 11:00 am on Thursday, Captain Smart received officers from the National Investigations Bureau (NIB) in his home who invited him to their office, to which he obliged. He was subsequently taken to the Nima Police Station in Accra for interrogation.
At the Nima Police Station, Captain Smart was cautioned on the “offence of offensive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace as provided under section 207 of the Criminal Act, 1960 (Act 29).”
He provided a caution statement and then was granted bail.
According to the Police, the arrest of Captain Smart was due to some unsavoury pronouncements he was alleged to have made that, according to them, hinged on the peace and security of the country.
“He has been cautioned on the offence of offensive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace as provided under section 207 of the Criminal Act,1960 (Act 29),” the Police said in a statement.
But, Media General’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Christopher Koney, indicated in a statement that, the “arrest and detention of Captain Smart is by no means an isolated incident, but just one more egregious example of the intolerance increasingly creeping into the Ghanaian society. We are convinced that a careful review of the entire statement made by Captain Smart would reveal that it did not amount to threats to the peace and or stability of the country as claimed by the Ghana Police.
“The Media General Group would like to urge the Ghana Police Service and the IGP to exercise restraint in their dealings with journalists legitimately doing their work and dismiss these broad charges so that press freedom would be protected.
“We at Media General shall continue to preach and exercise responsible journalism. However, we would continue to empower our journalists and broadcasters to be fearless, honest and forthright in their professional outlook always,” a statement said.
Meanwhile, the National Media Commission (NMC) has described Captain Smart’s utterances as unprofessional and inciteful.