The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), is considering suing a member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Hajia Fati, for physically manhandling a journalist with Multimedia Group, Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Ahwenepa in Accra last Friday.
The reported assault occurred after Hajia Fati forcefully denied Sammy Crabbe, a suspended Second Vice Chairman of the NPP, from picking up forms to contest for the party’s chairmanship position.
Ohemaa Sakyiwaa, a journalist with Accra-based Adom FM, was reportedly slapped by Hajia Fati when she tried to take a photo of her confronting Mr. Crabbe.
Stakeholders in the media have already asked the governing party to take a decisive action against Hajia Fati who is reported to have physically assaulted others in the past.
Addressing the press, President for the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Affail Monney, condemned the alleged attack, adding that the GJA is considering taking legal action against Hajia Fati.
This is not the first time Hajia Fati has reportedly attacked a journalist. The latest of her attacks until this present case occurred earlier this year when she was heard in a recorded telephone conversation issuing death threats against a TV3 journalist, Kwakye Afreh Nuamah.
“What is more worrying is that some of her attacks on journalists including Adom FM reporter’s case were launched at the NPP headquarters, giving the impression even if erroneously, that the ruling party endorses her violence on us. The GJA is considering various options including legal action to end such impunity against journalists which we consider to be a violent attack on press freedom,” Mr. Monney said.
Meanwhile, the Multimedia Group says it has filed a complaint at the Nima Police station and will go ahead with a civil suit against Hajia Fati.
Addressing the press, Managing Editor of Adom FM, Amoadu Christian Ohene, said: “This looks like a criminal case so we are pursuing it from that angle….And because of some damages that may have been done on the victim we are also considering other avenues including a civil suit. We will consider the additional angle of a suit and in all of these we are trying to follow the law.”
At the same NPP Headquarters, some journalists from Citi FM and Ghanaweb, were assaulted by some security guards when they tried to cover a party event that was taking place there in December 2017.
There was no arrest or action by the police or from the governing party, despite pressure from the Media Foundation for West Africa [MFWA].