The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) Sulemana Braimah has revealed that investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni is still being provided security by the State even after he returned to Ghana from exile months ago.
Manasseh, an investigative journalist sought refuge outside Ghana after he received death threats following the airing of his investigative piece which highlighted the activities of De Eye Group; a private firm which operated at the former seat of government; Osu Castle.
The documentary also identified the head of the group as Nana Wireko Addo, popularly known as ‘Choman’; a one-time bodyguard of President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo.
Prof. Kwame Karikari of the Media Foundation for West Africa, at a public event in May 2019, disclosed that following the death threats, Manasseh had to flee the country.
According to him, “in most of March and April this year, the very well-known and respected investigative journalist of Multimedia fame, Manasseh Azure Awuni spent virtually all of March and April this year running and hiding from rogue elements of unknown identities who were bent on a campaign to murder him. At first, Manasseh’s employers kept moving him from hiding place to hiding place. The police came in to provide him bodyguards for protection during the day. Even this was not enough. The threat got so unbearable the Media Foundation for West Africa had to step in to find refuge or safe haven for him in a foreign country.”
Contributing to a discussion on “Media Freedom in Ghana” on News File on Joy FM Saturday, August 17, 2019, Sulemana Braimah revealed that several months after Manasseh returned from exile, he’s still being provided with security by the State.
“…Within this period we’ve had a case of murder, we’ve had to support a journalist to leave the country on the basis of very severe threat. As we speak you know that that journalist still walks with a police officer. I don’t remember the last time we had such a situation where we’ve had to provide a safe haven for a Ghanaian journalist and even on his return he has to be accompanied by a police officer. The question is if people are denying it why is government providing that sort of support to the journalist. The gravity and the level of intolerance is becoming a culture by itself and who else do we blame? the government has to create that enabling environment in terms of making sure that perpetrators are punished.”
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.