General News of Friday, 17 March 2017
A freelance journalist Kendrick Offei Ansah was alleged to have been assaulted by some military officers for taking coverage of the officers assaulting a civilian on the independence day.
Narrating his ordeal to Akwasi Boateng on Hot Fm’s morning show Maakye, Offei 34, said on the 6th of March 2017, he went to the Black Star square to cover the independence celebration and after the ceremony, he went to a beach close to the square where he cited three military men beating a young man with huge sticks and PBC pipes and as such, he decided to take a video of what was happening when suddenly one of the soldiers approached him, took his phone and asked him to follow them.
“One of them asked for my phone and without arguing with him I handed the phone to him and then they asked me to follow them to collect my phone.”
Offei said he followed them to the Osu military camp and on getting there he was subjected to severe beatings by over seven military officers with the huge sticks and PBC pipes they were using on the other guy.
“They beat me mercilessly with anything they could find, slapping and hitting me and then one of the soldiers said why don’t we kill him like we killed the others and throw him into the sea but for the timely intervention of one W.O Mensah, they would have beaten me to death.”
Offei further explained that when W.O Mensah saw what was happening, he asked what the matter was and then ordered the soldiers to let him go but not after his phone has been destroyed.
“He gave me two options that is either I delete the videos or I destroy the phone. I was not happy with that because it was an iPhone 5 and then suddenly one of the soldiers hit my hand with his boot which made the phone fall off my hand and then I was given a stone to destroy it. That was how i was able to leave that place alive.”
On leaving the place Offei said he went straight to the Osu police station to report the issue.
Contacting Inspector Bright Sackitey the CID in charge of the case, he confirmed to Akwasi Boateng the host of Maakye on Hot FM that, the victim came to make a complaint about an assault and that he followed up to the Osu military camp where it was confirmed by W.O Mensah that such an incident had happened.
As at now, the police do not have the statements of these soldiers or made any arrests claiming that the soldiers are on duty at the flagstaff house but have given an assurance that by the close of the day they will arrest the soldiers to give their own side of the story.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister-designate for Defence Major Derrick Oduro has condemned the conduct of the soldiers referring to it as unfortunate.