Court Orders three State institutions to apologise to ModernGhana’s Editor

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Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri
Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri

The Accra High Court has ordered three State institutions to apologise to Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri, editor of the news portal, ModernGhana for human rights violations.

The parties in the case filed terms which were adopted by the Human Rights Division court 2.

In a judgment obtained by this media house, the presiding Judge, His Lordship Justice Nicholas Abodakpi held by terms of settlement had been adopted by the court.

In July 2019, Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri, the Applicant, sued the National Security Coordinator, Inspector General of Police, and Attorney General as Respondents for violation of his human rights.

The judgement ordered that the respondents shall issue an apology to the applicant and have same published in the Daily Graphic within 14 days of the adoption of the terms of settlement.

The respondents are also to pay compensation, legal fees and shall pay for gadgets that were seized from the applicant including a laptop, two mobile phones, and a tablet.

Arrest, detention and torture 

On June 27, 2019 gun-wielding operatives of National Security arrested Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri and his reporter Emmanuel Britwum at their offices.

The officers whisked them into a black van, strapped their heads in black polythene bags, and sped off.

Their laptops and mobiles were confiscated and they were subjected to interrogation at National Security offices.

Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri, the Editor of the online news portal, Modernghana.com, later told the media he was subjected to electric shock and other forms of torture whiles in detention.

The interrogation was on two articles the website published on the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah.

The National Security Council Secretariat denied it tortured the journalist.

The Ministry said the journalists were picked up for allegedly engaging in cybercrimes.

On July 5, 2019 State prosecutors filed cybercrime charges against Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri and two other journalists, Emmanuel Britwum reporter of ModernGhana.com and Obeng Manu Editor of Peace FM for alleged unlawful access to an email account belonging to a local radio station Peace FM.

However, the state was forced by the Accra High Court to drop charges the first day the journalists appeared in court. This was after the Judge, Afia Asare Botwe, pointed out errors and turned down appeals by Senior State Attorney Stella Ohene Appiah because what the state wanted to court to do was without legal backing. Lawyers for the accused, led by Samson Lardy Anyenini, had said the criminal case was a face-saving act that was doomed at inception.

Ajarfor sues National Security Coordinator and two others for torture

On 11th July, 2019 Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri instituted legal action against the National Security Coordinator, the Inspector General of Police, and the Attorney General for the torture he suffered at the hands of the national security operatives.

He prayed the Human Rights Division of the High Court to direct the Attorney-General to find, name and subject the National Security Coordinator and the officials, who were directly or indirectly involved in human rights violations against him, to criminal prosecution or punishment.

He also prayed the court to order the immediate and unconditional release and surrender of all seized items to him.

The application for the enforcement of Mr Ajarfor’s fundamental human rights was filed on his behalf by Samson Lardy Anyenini who was working with a legal team including Dr. Justice Srem Sai and Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo.

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