The Police Administration says investigations into the alleged assault of Joy News reporter, Latif Iddrisu, have stalled because the victim is yet to help identify the alleged culprits.
A statement signed and issued Tuesday by the Director General of Police Public Affiars, ACP David Eklu said the victim is also yet to present witnesses to assist in investigations as well as return the police medical report form which was issued to him when he lodged the complaint.
The statement comes on the back of a threat by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to boycott a forum scheduled for Wednesday to foster media-police relations as a result of the police’s inability to find the officers who allegedly assaulted Mr Iddrisu.
Mr Iddrisu was allegedly assaulted by policemen in front of the CID headquarters when the Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, was arrested.
Riot police were stationed at the CID headquarters to control a small crowd of NDC supporters who had come to the headquarters to show solidarity to their General Secretary.
According to Mr Iddrisu, the police attacked him when he had asked one of them a question to facilitate his report; leaving him with a fractured skull.
Below is the full statement from the police
UPDATE: ASSAULT ON JOY NEWS REPORTER LATIF IDDRIS
The Police Administration has taken note of public discourse on an alleged assault on Mr. Latif Iddris, a Joy News reporter at the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), and wishes to inform the public on steps so far taken by the Police regarding professionalism and the criminal aspect of the case.
The incident, alleged to have happened on 27th March, 2018 at the premises of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters, was referred by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to the Police Professional Standard Bureau (PPBS, formerly known as PIPS) to investigate the conduct of officers on duty whilst a report of assault was also made by Mr. Iddris at the Cantonments police station.
The IGP sent a delegation to visit Joy FM and the Multimedia Group on April 9, 2018 to assure Mr. Iddris and his colleagues that the Police administration does not condone Police attacks on Journalists or any other person(s). Subsequently, the Police Administration supported Mr. Iddris to offset his initial medical expenses.
The IGP also met executives of the Ghana Journalists Association, (GJA), at the Police Headquarters over the issue and assured them of due process being followed in the case. On two occasions between May and June 2018, the Police Administration appeared before the Complaint Section of the National Media Commission (NMC), where Multimedia had lodged a complaint against the Ghana Police Service. The meetings went well.
Following the NMC meetings, Multimedia wrote to the IGP indicating a willingness to settle the case. In response, the Police Administration requested that Multimedia should impress on Mr. Iddris who had told the media that he could identify the officers to cooperate with Police “to enable us arrive at a conclusive determination on the reported case”. Mr. Iddris is yet to respond to this call.
In addition to the above, the Police Administration recognizing the vital role of the media in police work, crime fighting and reporting approached the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), which has a track record for organizing workshops for strengthening police-media relations for the safety of journalists within the West Africa sub-region to facilitate a similar workshop, scheduled for Wednesday 11th July 2018.
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), NMC, Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), Ghana Community Radio Network (GCRN) among others are expected to participate, towards building stronger relations between Police and the media.
On the criminal aspect of the case, Mr. Iddris lodged a complaint at the Cantonments Police Station and gave a statement to the effect that he was assaulted at the entrance of the CID headquarters. Among others, he stated in his written statement that he has two principal witnesses to testify in his favour, for which reason he was told to produce the two witnesses to assist in investigation. He was also issued a Police medical report form, which he is yet to return to Police.
The Police Administration assures the public that it would follow due process in the matter and urges the public to be balanced in their comments on the issue since final closure to the case is yet to be made.
ASSITANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE