Captain Smart released but his employers point to ‘creeping intolerance’

Media General, operators of Accra based Onua TV and Onua FM have disclosed that, their employee, Captain Smart, has been granted bail.

Smart was picked up on Thursday for allegedly making statements that threaten the peace and stability of the country.

On his TV morning show on Thursday, Smart said soldiers should have taken over Parliament during Wednesday’s chaos in the house and added he would support any form of uprising in the country due to the mismanagement of the country by ” 419″ President Akufo-Addo.

A police statement later confirmed his arrest adding that the controversial media personality was being charged for the “offence of offensive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace as provided under section 207 of the Criminal Act, 1960 (Act 29).”

However, a statement issued by Media General on Thursday Night indicated that Smart had been released but suggested that their employee was a victim of the creeping intolerance against journalists in the country.

Read full statement below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CAPTAIN SMART RELEASED
ACCRA, Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Nima Divisional Police Command today arrested broadcaster Blessed Godsbrain Smart, popularly known as “Captain Smart”, the host of the morning show “Onua Maakye” on Media General subsidiaries, Onua TV and Onua FM.

At about 11am on Thursday, 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, 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.

However, Media General believes that the statement made by Captain Smart should not be one that should be interpreted in the manner that the Police did and also to add that we are increasingly concerned about the new trend of arrest of journalists and media practitioners.
This recent trend of picking journalists has affected journalists who work with Media General who are simply doing their work and, like every Ghanaian, should be protected by the Constitution.

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.

Ghana l Atinkaonline.com

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