Was Not Tortured -Journalist
Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri
Confusion has punctured the integrity of the ‘torture story’ claim
by one of the Modern Ghana online portal staffers who is now on bail for
alleged inappropriate cyber activities.
The media terrain woke up yesterday to a major development which put
the credibility of the ‘torture story’ on the line after Emmanuel Britwum – one
of the duo – said he was not tortured
during their brief incarceration in custody of the National Security.
Emmanuel Britwum’s torture denial story is in sharp contrast to that
of his colleague, Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri, who claimed he was turned upside
down and subjected to a terrible physical ordeal, including electrical shocks by
state security operatives.
He presented a human rights-trampled story which reminded history
scholars about Gestapo-rating punishments in Nazi-run Auschwitz concentration
camp during WWII. The National Security Council Secretariat has issued a statement
to deny the claim.
The litany of punishments meted out to him when he spoke gleefully
on some radio stations included electric shocks and a slap for each question
posed during his interrogation – an allegation that brings the number of slaps
he received to 20 or so given the fact that he fielded 20 questions or more.
Emmanuel Ajarfor had earlier told Citi FM that following the good treatment he received at the hands
of security agents during his brief incarceration, he had cause to go and
render gratitude to one of the officials for feeding him well.
Lamenting what he said are widespread news reports “that he and his editor, Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri,
have become the latest helpless victims of perceived or real state-sponsored
violent crackdown on media practitioners in Ghana,” Emmanuel Britwum said he
was neither tortured nor brutalized during his arrest and subsequent detention
by National Security operatives on Thursday, June 27, 2019.
He said in a statement through Debora Asabere-Ameyaw, on Wednesday evening
that “he neither witnessed Mr. Ajarfor being ‘tortured’ nor did he elect anyone
to speak publicly on his behalf on the matter.”
In view of the developments, Emmanuel Britwum has dissociated
himself from the allegations of misconduct being levelled in his name against
National Security operatives in the matter under review.
Since the case appeared under the radar of the media, the main
opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) operatives have gone overdrive
through a strongly-worded correspondence in which they called for the
resignation of the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah.
Now that the whole ‘project’ has been bedeviled with this contagion,
the propaganda engineers might have to return to the drawing board.
Emmanuel Britwum has assured the Ghanaian public that he is willing
to cooperate with security agents as they investigate the cybercrime case
In a bizarre twist, lawyers for Emmanuel Ajarfor, the originator of
the ‘torture’ story, A-Partners @ Law, released also on Wednesday saying they
had withdrawn their representation for Emmanuel Britwum.
Call From GJA
The lawyer representing his colleagues recalled being called by the
GJA and an NGO, OneGhanaMovement to assist the suspects as they had not had the
benefit of legal representation since their arrests.
Meeting The Two
“I met them both in the company of at least seven people including
their manager, an officer of the NGO, a senior colleague, Raymond Bagnabu, who
before arriving at the Ministries Police Station, had confirmed to me via phone
that he had also just been contacted by their manager to assist,” he said.
Continuing, Samson Ayenini said another colleague of theirs, Nii Kpakpo
Samoa Addo, also said he had been called to assist.
“I specifically directly asked Britwum over and over again and he
confirmed he was assaulted,” he said.
According to the lawyer, the team had always been with Britwum and
Ajarfor, assiting them to seek justice but Britwum has said he is opting out of
their services for a new lawyer.
He wished Britwum well and reiterated that he is always available to
fight for the rights of journalists and the GJA in general if he is called upon
to do so.
Both Emmanuel Ajarfor and Emmanuel Britwum were interns at DAILY
GUIDE at different times.
When Emmanuel Ajarfor was at DAILY GUIDE around 2011/2012, he introduced
himself as a student from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. He was with the
newspaper for about six months on internship. While at DAILY GUIDE, he said he
was an orphan which won him the sympathy of many staff members.
On the day of the landmark presidential election petition judgment
on August 29, 2013, he joined many others to enter the residence of then
Candidate Akufo-Addo at Nima in Accra.
As Nana Akufo-Addo was accepting the judgment albeit he did not
agree with the Supreme Court decision but for the sake of the country’s
stability, Ajarfor sneaked into an enclosure within the compound and switched
on a computer. Some of the aides of Nana Akufo-Addo saw him and raised the
alarm. He then claimed to be working with DAILY GUIDE although he had finished
his internship and left the newspaper more than a year, and the men called to
ascertain his claim.
A.R. Gomda proceeded to the place and intervened and that saved him from being taken to the Nima Police adjacent to the then flag bearer’s house.
By A.R. Gomda