Update – Police Charge Journalists with Causing Fear and Panic

Two journalists standing trial for causing “fear and panic” have been discharged by a Circuit Court in Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana, following an amicable settlement.

Iddrisu Awudu, alias Mighty Judas, General Manager and ‘morning show’ host of Winners FM and Mark Abrey, Editor of Techiman Times, were arraigned before court after Iddrisu failed to provide police with details about a statement he made on radio on 12 June, 2017, that armed robbers and kidnappers had invaded the Techiman metropolis. Abrey also later published that allegation.

The journalists were detained and put before court on different occasions. However, they were discharged at the fifth hearing on August 8, 2017, following an out-of court settlement of the case. During the previous hearing on August 1, counsel for the accused, Eric Ansah, told the presiding judge, Alexander Graham, that his outfit and the regional President of the Ghana Journalists’ Association, Larry Paa Kwesi Moses, had brokered an out-of-court settlement of the case with the District Police Command who are the complainants in the case.

The MFWA correspondent reported that His Lordship, Alexander Graham discharged Awudu and Abrey in view of the remorse they had shown and the Police’s confirmation that they have amicably settled the matter upon pleas from the accused, their lawyer and the leadership of the media fraternity in the region.

Meanwhile, Awudu has been sacked from his job at Winners FM because of the incident.

The MFWA welcomes the amicable settlement of the case and commends the parties for the display of goodwill. We also appeal to the Management of Winners FM to consider the remorse shown by Awudu and recall him to work. We wish, however, to urge journalists to act professionally at all times and to refrain from sensational publications that cannot be defended.

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