The Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson, who was arrested in connection with a Facebook publication, which alleged that family members of President Akufo-Addo traveled on the presidential jet to the United Kingdom (UK) for shopping during the Christmas holidays has been granted bail by the Kaneshie District Court.
Thompson has been charged with the publication of false news and offensive conduct conducive to the breach of peace.
He was arraigned at the Kaneshie District Court presided over by Mr Oheneba Kufuor on Thursday (February 10, 2022).
He pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution, led by Inspector Teye Okuffo had prayed the court to remand the accused person for one week to assist with police investigations.
But the court granted bail in the sum of GH¢50,000 with two sureties following an oral bail application by his lawyer, Mr Victor Kojoga Adawudu who told the court that his client was not a flight risk and would not interfere with police investigations.
As part of the bail condition, he is to report to the police twice every week.
The case has been adjourned to March 15, 2022.
The facts as presented by the prosecutor were that on January 14, 2022, the Ghana Police Service received a complaint from the Military command that Thompson with a Facebook Account named "Mensah Thompson" published that between December 20 and 30, 2021, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s children used Ghana's Presidential jet, Falcon EX on a trip to the UK just for Christmas shopping.
He said investigations disclosed that Thompson also challenged the Ministry of National Security, the Ghana Air Force and the Civil Aviation to provide answers to Ghanaians on why the presidential jet under their care was used for such purposes.
He added that on January 9, 2022 at about 11:01 am, the ASEPA boss on his Facebook Account, mentioned that he has had a conversation with the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Armed Forces and said out of respect, he retracts the earlier statement he made in his earlier Facebook post.
Inspector Okuffo said investigations also revealed that the publication made by the accused person on his Facebook account was false and had the tendency of breaching public peace.
Consequently, on January 14, he said the accused person was contacted on his mobile phone to report at Teshie Rasta Police Post to assist with investigations.
He promised to report on January 17, 2022 but he failed and all effort to apprehend him proved futile.
On January 30, 2022, the prosecutor said a warrant of arrest was secured from the Kaneshie District Magistrate Court for his arrest.
He added that on February 9, 2022, the accused person reported at the station in the company of his counsel.
During interrogation, he said the accused person decided to remain silent.