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Politician threatens to kill newspaper editor over drug trafficking allegations

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 19 February 2011, Alhaji Bature Iddrisu, managing editor of privately-owned "Bilingual Free Press", filed a complaint at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service against Kennedy Agyapong, an opposition Member of Parliament (MP) for the Assin North constituency of the Central Region, for threatening him with death.

Agyapong was reported by a pro-government daily newspaper, "The Enquirer", to have said that he would "kill" Alhaji Bature for consistently linking him and his family to illicit drug trafficking from one radio station to another.

"I will kill you . . . meku wo (I will kill you) . . . I will kill you," the newspaper quoted the MP as saying on an Accra-based local language radio programme on Asempa FM, on 18 February.

When Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) contacted Alhaji Bature, he confirmed having accused the MP of making money through illicit drug trade. He said his comments were in reaction to the MP's slandering of his dead father (a rich contractor), by describing him as a "poor security man". He said the MP also accused him (Bature) of being a "shepherd".

Alhaji Bature stated during a programme on Asempa FM that the minority MPs, including Agyapong, who were distracting President John Atta Mills during his sessional address to Parliament on 17 February, became "dumb" immediately after the President announced the reopening of a probe into a missing parcel of substance suspected to be a narcotic in 2006.

"The Enquirer" newspaper said in its 21 February issue that the police would soon write to the Speaker of Parliament, Joyce Bamford-Addo, to summon Agyapong for questioning.

Meanwhile, the MP has denied dealing in the narcotic drug trade. He told the Accra-based Joy FM that he had been a victim of daily insults and allegations from Alhaji Bature. When asked why he would not take legal action against Alhaji Bature for calling him a drug dealer, the MP said: "What action; the action is what I took. I have to respond accordingly because the system is not being fair to anybody . . ."

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