Media General, the mother company of Onua FM and Onua TV, believes the statement made by morning show host Captain Smart, leading to his arrest should not be one that should be interpreted in the manner that the police did.
The company said it is increasingly becoming concerned about the new trend of arrest of journalists and media practitioners.
A statement issued by the company on Thursday, December 2 said this recent trend has affected journalists who work with Media General and simply doing their work and, like every Ghanaian, should be protected by the Constitution.
A careful review indicates: “Today’s arrest and detention of Captain Smart is by no means an isolated incident, but just one more egregious example of the intolerance increasingly creeping into the Ghanaian society. We are convinced that a careful review of the entire statement made by Captain Smart would reveal that it did not amount to threats to the peace and or stability of the country as claimed by the Ghana Police.
“The Media General Group would like to urge the Ghana Police Service and the IGP to exercise restraint in their dealings with journalists legitimately doing their work and dismiss these broad charges so that press freedom would be protected.
“We at Media General shall continue to preach and exercise responsible journalism. However, we would continue to empower our journalists and broadcasters to be fearless, honest and forthright in their professional outlook always,” a statement said.
The statement comes after Blessed Godsbrain Smart, popularly known as Captain Smart, was released by the Police after his arrest earlier on Thursday.
The Nima Divisional Police Command arrested the host of Onua Maakye, the morning show on Media General subsidiaries Onua TV and Onua FM.
At about 11:00am on Thursday, Captain Smart received officers from the National Investigations Bureau (NIB) in his home who invited him to their office, to which he obliged. He was subsequently taken to the Nima Police Station in Accra for interrogation.
At the Nima Police Station, Captain Smart was cautioned on the “offence of offensive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace as provided under section 207 of the Criminal Act, 1960 (Act 29).”
He provided a caution statement and then was granted bail.
According to the Police, the arrest of Captain Smart was due to some unsavoury pronouncements he was alleged to have made that, according to them, hinged on the peace and security of the country.