Pressure has been piling on the governing New Patriotic Party to take action on a known party member who attacked a Multimedia journalist last Friday.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has branded the NPP Headquarters, the scene of the attack, as unsafe for journalists.
“Anything can happen there”, Executive Director Suleman Briamah told Joy FM’s NewsNight Monday.
The Ghana Journalist Association has said the tough-talking Hajia Fati, an Akufo-Addo loyalist, has a record of assault on journalists. The association has said it is weighing up legal option to ensure greater respect for journalists.
The party known for pushing for press freedom has been silent since the attack on Adom FM reporter Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Ahwenepa by Hajia Fati which left her with a bruised lip.
During a charged atmosphere at the NPP Headquarters in Accra, Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Ahwenepa tried taking a photo of the woman who was throwing tantrums at the suspended Second Vice-Chairman who was attempting to buy a form to contest in the upcoming elections.
But before she could properly position herself for a snapshot, she felt a sharp pain in the upper lip and nose – a punch from Fati.
She has explained the victim did not identify herself properly or seek her permission before taking her the photograph. ‘She looked like an onion seller’, she told Joy News Monday.
Legal practitioner Samson Lardy Anyenini, who obtained judgment in favour of Multimedia in a similar attack on Multimedia journalists in 2016 has said in a Facebook post one is under obligation to protect a journalist who comes to their premises”.
The staunch advocate for press freedom said in the case of Multimedia versus NHIA, the judge ruled, journalists have the right to resort to not-straightforward means to obtain information if an entity/person is denying them access to information, and that journalists don’t require permission to conduct their work in a public place.
Samson Lardy Anyenini
In that particular case, the NHIS denied assault the Multimedia staffs – Adom FM presenter Afia Pokua and two others. But the court ordered the state health insurance body to pay damages and publish an apology in the national dailies.
Hajia Fati has not denied the assault and there has been no official statement or condemnation by the party.
The attack on Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Ahwenepafollows another attack on a Multimedia staff, Latif Iddris who has since been at home because of his health condition.
Police officers at the headquarters pounced on him, battering him with the but of guns leaving him with multiple injuries and a fractured skull.
The Interior Minister Ambrose Derry condemned the incident describing it as unfortunate.
Ghana hosted 2018 World Press Freedom Day, a two-day event which ended Friday May 4, 2018. The Multimedia journalist was attacked on the day that the conference on press freedom ended.