IGP sets up committee to probe assault on Graphic Reporter

The Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Joseph Oppong-Boanuh, has formed a committee to probe the alleged assault on a reporter with Graphic Communications Group, Ms Della Russell Ocloo.

The committee according to a statement signed by the Director-General of PAD, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr David Eklu, would make recommendations and submit its report within one week.

The committee was formed pursuant to a new framework developed by the Police Administration, the GJA and other stakeholders on how to address attacks on journalists, the statement explained.

Members of the committee set up by the IGP will comprise representatives from the Public Affairs Directorate (PAD) of the Ghana Police Service, the Police Professional Standard Bureau (PPSB) and a representative of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).

The IGP has further directed the Accra Regional Crime Officer to take over investigations into a complaint of assault lodged by Ms Ocloo over her alleged ordeal.

A report by Daily Graphic on the alleged assault stated that Ms Ocloo was allegedly manhandled by some security details of the Glorious Wave Church International at Sakumono last Sunday when she went to the church to follow up on a demonstration by a group of women who had advertised a demonstration against Prophet Badu Kobi, founder of the church, for comments he was supposed to have made against women of certain ethnic backgrounds.

The journalist is said to have irked the security men and congregants of the church when she took a video of congregants kneeling and holding the shoes of Prophet Kobi for him to bless them during the service.

But the Church through its Head Pastor, Mr. Wisdom Agodza, has refuted the claims saying Ms Ocloo after joining the service failed to introduce herself as a journalist in order for the protocol team to offer her the needed courtesies as they did for all journalists who regularly came to the church to cover proceedings.

A statement issued to that effect said  the reporter instead chose to clandestinely film church members praying and giving offerings.

“Given the global security issues associated with churches in our world today, church ushers, security and protocols at Glorious Wave were required to call out any suspicious behaviour,” the statement said.

The statement added that one of the official church photographers spotted the reporter and drew her attention to the fact that such filming of the service without approval was unauthorised and not permitted.

“We again emphasise that at no point in time did any single member of the Glorious Wave Church International ever engage in any physical exchange with Ms Della Russel Ocloo. In effect, she did not follow basic journalistic practice by identifying herself as present for purposes of following up on a story as was claimed,” the statement said.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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