Citi reporters allegedly assaulted by NIA officials

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Citi reporters allegedly assaulted by NIA officials

Two journalists working with Accra-based Citi FM and Citi TV were allegedly manhandled by some officials of the National Identification Authority (NIA) last Friday while covering the registration exercise at the Mataheko Cluster of Schools, near Afienya, in the Ningo-Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region.

The incident said to have occurred about 4 pm, involved a cameraman of the television station, Mr Eric Twum, who was allegedly slapped and punched in the face, according to the reporter, Mr Elvis Washington, who also alleged that he was manhandled when he attempted to free Mr Twum from his attackers.

Mr Twum now spots a swollen face and bruises on his arms, ostensibly from the alleged assault, and reportedly complained of pains in his left eye following the incident.

Police complaint

They have since lodged a complaint at the Emefs Police Station on the Michel Camp-Afienya road, with Mr Twum issued with a medical form for treatment at the Tema General Hospital.

The Tema Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police Edward Johnson Akrofi-Oyirifi, who confirmed the incident, however said he was awaiting a detailed report from the Afienya District Command to determine the scale of investigations into the incident.

Attempts to reach the Afienya District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police Charles Agyei, for comment over the incident were unsuccessful.

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Applicant complaints
Mr Washington, who is also the Tema Correspondent for Citi FM and Citi TV, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that he, in the company of Mr Twum, had gone to the centre to cover the exercise following complaints from some residents about alleged extortion of money by the NIA officials within the district in connection with the exercise.

According to him, when they arrived at the centre around 3:30 pm, they followed protocol by introducing themselves to the security personnel and official of the NIA.

“I proceeded into the inner chamber to speak with the officer-in-charge, so my cameraman took some shots from the premises,” he said.

Mr Washington said he engaged some of the officials in an informal conversation in the absence of the officer-in-charge, but he soon saw some other officials in a scuffle with Mr Twum over why he was filming the exercise.

“I quickly stood up to get closer in an effort to intervene to prevent further assault as the officials pounced on him with slaps and frantic effort to seize his camera, but I was stopped by one gentleman in a military uniform who prevented me from getting closer to where my cameraman was being assaulted,” Mr Washington said.

In the melee, Mr Washington said, a female applicant who was at the centre grabbed the camera from Mr Twum and hid it in her cloth to prevent it from being destroyed by the attackers.

Mr Washington added that the officer-in-charge of the centre, who was said to be out for lunch at the time, returned to join the alleged assault on Mr Twum.

“At a point, she charged towards me amid unprintable words and attempted to smash my spectacles, but was unsuccessful,” Mr Washington suggested.

Attempts to reach the Communications Officer of the NIA, Mr Francis Palmdeti, for his comments on the issue was unsuccessful.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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