General News of Sunday, 16 May 2021
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, has said, the delay in making the alleged physical torture or assault by the National Security on Caleb Kudah, a journalist with Accra-based Citi FM could undermine the credibility of Kudah's story.
According to Baako, the management of the station had earlier instructed the journalist who suffered the ordeal at the hands of the National Security to go home and rest and return to work the next day.
He said, there was no hint of the reported physical assault or torture communicated to the public by the superiors at the station. Later, however, the station tried to explain the events that had happened earlier in the day to journalists and at the radio station to the public.
Baako in a Facebook post said, “a journalist is released from security custody after [five] hours. He proceeds to his workplace after his release and is instructed to go home by his superiors and return to work the next day. The next day the journalist is on air (in his station) alleging that he had been tortured whilst in security custody prior to his release. Prior to his disclosure of having been subjected to physical assault/torture, one of his superiors appeared on a major television network to recount what had happened to him (the arrested journalist) and the events which had transpired at the station of the media house (workplace of the arrested journalist) earlier that day.
He continued, “No hint of the reported physical assault or torture was/is communicated to the audience of the program or the nation. Apparently, this was because the physical assault or torture was unknown to the superiors of the arrested/incarcerated journalist at that point in time. And this was because the journalist was instructed to go home and rest. And return to work the next day.”
He asked, “what if the effects of the reported torture had taken its toll on him the night before?”
Kweku Baako Jnr averred, “he returns/returned to work the following day to reveal that he was physically assaulted and tortured while in security custody. And this is reported on his station's radio and television networks. Some citizens and analysts raise issues and cast doubts on the new twist because of the delay in disclosure of the physical assault.”
Baako revealed that after he heard about the physical assault or torture on the journalist the next day when the abused journalist was giving a vivid account of what transpired at the offices of the National Security, he “called the Management of the station and indicated that the omission of delayed disclosure could have the effect of undermining the credibility of the subsequent disclosure and provide some skeptics and cynics with the basis to cast doubts on the significant disclosure.”
He explained that, the decision by the superiors of the journalist not to run with the story of the physical assault or torture timeously was explained to him as due to “emotional trauma among other reasons” but he “respectfully disagreed”.
Kweku Baako Jnr noted that when he made an appearance on Joy News’ Newfile on Saturday, he articulated the view that the management's decision to delay disclosure was not the best practice or idea “and that it could reinforce the view that the physical assault or torture story was an afterthought or not factual.”
“I did not categorically say the torture story was an afterthought or not factual. In such matters, it helps if and when the victim of the alleged or reported physical assault or torture gets a medical examination/report early.
“Going home to bath and report to work the following day or days could undermine the sanctity of evidence needed to make a case!” Baako stressed.