A statement from the Communication Directorate of the Jubilee House said Sammy Gyamfi published and disseminated a "forged" document purportedly signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo.

Sammy Gyamfi was arrested at the premises of Despite Media, after making an appearance on UTV's morning show and taken to the police headquarters.

He was cautioned and granted bail.

Nana Bediatuo Asante
Nana Bediatuo Asante

However, the Presidency, in a statement issued on Friday, 31 January 2020 said the complaint lodged against Sammy Gyamfi, was neither born out of revenge and/or malice nor politically motivated.

"That suggestion is erroneous and should not be entertained at all”, the Presidency said in the statement, adding: “The complaint was lodged with the CID on 28 November 2019 following the publication and dissemination of a forged memo purportedly signed by the Secretary tot eh President, seeking to direct the Chief of Staff to convene a Cabinet meeting."

It added: "The forged document was published with extra commentary on the Facebook page/account of Sammy Gyamfi. After the complaint was lodged with the CID, the police commenced its investigation and invited Sammy Gyamfi to write his statement in line with established practices of investigations and the rules of natural justice.

"Sammy Gyamfi was unable to honour the invitation of the police but instead filed an application at the high court to restrain the police from doing its work. It was not until 27 January 2020 that Mr. Gyamfi was arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant and cautioned on the offenses of possession of forged documents and publication of false news with the intent to cause fear and alarm, contrary to sections 166 and 208 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), respectively.

"If for nothing at all, it is worth stating that no citizen of this land would have been given the two-month luxury of time and space that Mr. Gyamfi enjoyed following the complaint lodged on 28 November 2019, especially in a situation such as this", the Presidency noted.

The position of the office of the Secretary, the statement noted, "Is that a crime has been committed, a serious crime at that. A document purportedly from the Secretariat of the President allegedly signed by the Secretary to the President has been forged and published widely and no one should accept that as being normal", explaining: "The forgery of the document emanating from the President’s Secretariat affects the integrity of any forged such documents and the instructions and directions they convey".

National Communications Director of NDC, Sammy Gyamfi
National Communications Director of NDC, Sammy Gyamfi

"It would be negligent on the part of the Secretary to the President not to take any action to protect the integrity of the documents from the President’s Secretariat. Imagine the effect of a forged letter purportedly signed by the Secretary to the President instructing the Minister of Finance to transfer monies from the Consolidated Fund to an unauthorised private account abroad.

"Technological advancement can make these unthinkable situations a reality. And in times like these, where it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction, such forgeries or dissemination of fake news, should not be treated lightly at all.

"More particularly in an election year when tensions are high. Social media presents a fertile ground for the dissemination of such fake news, and nobody should belittle the gross negative effects such as forgeries and fake news can have on the governance of the state.

"We will, therefore, encourage the media, social commentators and especially political actors, to respect the police and other investigative bodies and assist them to do their work, rather than hindering them and making all sorts of unwarranted and baseless suggestions. As citizens, we all have a duty to protect the credibility, integrity, and sanctity of official documents coming from the high office of the President of the Republic," the Presidency said.