National Security Minister sued by journalist and these are the reliefs he is seeking

Emmanuel Ajafor Abugri, a journalist from online portal Modern Ghana, has sued the Minister of National Security and two of its operatives.

Kan Dapaah

Ajafor is suing for the alleged torture he was put through at the head office of the national security a couple of weeks ago.

On Thursday, June 27, 2019, operatives of National Security raided the offices of the online portal following an opinion piece published about the National Security Minister Albert Kan Dapaah and NPP MP Afenyo-Markin.

Laptops belonging to the online media outfit were also seized in the course of the raid.

He was later released on Saturday, June 29, 2019. Emmanuel said he was not spared by his captors who, he claimed took turns to hit and taser him.

In a case filed at the Human Rights Court in Accra, Ajafor Abugri is seeking these reliefs:

He is asking the court to hold that by arresting him without a court warrant and without first informing him of the reasons for his arrest, the National Security Coordinator, the IGP and or their officials have violated his right to personal liberty.

He is also praying the court to hold that by forcibly seizing his electronic gadgets and going ahead to access their content without his consent or a court warrant, the National Security Coordinator or officials from the National Security Secretariat have violated his right to privacy.

Mr Abugri wants the court to hold that by subjecting him to interrogation or questioning without informing him of his right to counsel or without giving him an opportunity to have a lawyer of his choice present, the agents of the National Security Coordinator and the IGP have violated, were violating or were likely to violate his right to fair trial.

He said the court should hold that “by questioning me, a journalist, in respect of a media publication they attributed to me or the media organisation I work for and going ahead to, under the pain of harm or the threat of it, warn me, the first respondent or his officials have harassed and intimidated me, and have, thereby, violated, are violating or are likely to violate my right to freedom of expression or to information and to practise journalism freely.”

In an affidavit supporting his claim, Mr Ajarfor said on Thursday, June 27, 2019, he was arrested in his office near the A&C Mall, East Legon, Greater Accra Region, by three persons, who identified themselves as officials of the National Security Council Secretariat, and two uniformed officers of the Ghana Police Service, who wielded an AK47 assault rifle each.

“That upon my arrest, the said persons immediately, forcefully, through imminent threat of harm and without a court warrant did seize from me an HP laptop computer, two mobile phones – an Infinix Zero 4 and an Infinix Zero 5 – and a Huawei tablet,” the affidavit said.

Mr Ajarfor said he, together with another colleague of his, were “immediately bungled and forced into a waiting vehicle whereupon my head was covered with a black polythene bag and, then, driven to an unknown location in Accra.”

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