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Former president's guards attack journalists, destroy equipment

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 22 April 2009, "Financial Intelligence" reporter Justice Lee Adoboa, "Ghanaian Voice" newspaper's Ekow Moses and Ignatius Annor, a reporter with the pro-government FM station Radio Gold, were allegedly attacked by security guards of the former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, for photographing his private residence without permission.

The guards also destroyed the work equipment of the journalists.

Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that the journalists were part of a delegation from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) that went to the ex-president's house following reports of flooding at his residence.

The correspondent said the guards at the ex-president's residence prevented the journalists from entering the house because his family had not been informed about the visit. The journalists converged outside the building and started taking photos and filing reports. This resulted in a scuffle between them and the security guards.

According to Annor, one of the guards seized his cellular phone after realising that he was filing a report to his radio station. He said the guard smashed the phone and his recorder.

Adoboa also said that after taking pictures of the NADMO coordinator and the family of the ex-president, two of the security guards pounced on him, twisting his arm in an attempt to seize the camera. He said in the ensuing struggle, he gave the camera to Moses who was then overpowered by the guard. The guard smashed the camera on the ground, stamped on it and removed the memory chip. Adoboa said they later returned the chip to him.

The ex-president's spokesperson, Frank Agyekum, said on an Accra-based independent radio station, Joy FM, that to the best of his knowledge, the journalists were not attacked. He described the destruction of the journalists' equipment as "unfortunate".

The journalists have filed a complaint at the Airport Residential area police station.

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