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Reporter assaulted by former president's security guard

(MFWA/IFEX) - Afia Pokua, a reporter at Adom FM, an independent local language radio station based in Tema, a city adjoining Accra, the capital of Ghana, was on 22 August 2009 reportedly assaulted by a security guard of former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

According to Pokua, the guard violently dragged her on the floor, resulting in bruises on her body and damages to a cell phone and head set.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent reported that the incident occurred after former President Kufuor had delivered the keynote address at a special delegate's congress of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), at the Accra International Trade Fair Centre.

Pokua told the correspondent that while reporting live in one of the local languages to her audience on two radio stations belonging to the privately-owned media group, Multimedia Broadcasting Corporation, it became necessary to get a sound bite of the former President in that language for the benefit of listeners.

"When I positioned my microphone to catch the attention of the former President, the guard dragged me away on the floor. I was surprised because I believe he had seen me a couple of times in similar conferences, while the Ex-President was in office", the reporter emphasized.
Pokua said a number of NPP officials including Frank Agyekum, the former President's spokesperson, have apologised to her.

At the same conference, Koby Fiagbe, editor of the pro-government "Ghanaian Lens" newspaper, was also prevented from participating in a radio discussion programme at the congress grounds. Fiagbe said Perry Okudzeto, deputy director of communications of the party, told him he was not welcome, because his safety could not be guaranteed.

When MFWA contacted Okudzeto, he confirmed Fiagbe's assertion but said the police did not allow him access because he did not have accreditation.

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