Threat on judges: BNI’s ‘political’ statement ‘inept’ – Baako

Kweku-Baako1A statement issued by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) that said two radio panellists: Godwin Ako Gunn and Alistair Tairo Nelson, lacked the capacity to carry out a death threat they had issued against justices of the Supreme Court during a political talk show on Accra-based Montie FM, has been described as “inept, embarrassing and disastrous” by pundit Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako.

“The statement is a disaster – a political statement. The BNI is not entitled to issue political statements,” Mr Baako said on Saturday on Multi TV’s news analysis programme Newsfile.

The BNI statement issued on Thursday 7 July said on 3 July, the bureau arrested and questioned the two panellists in connection with the threats. “The arrest was premised on the fact that their comments were considered provocative, inflammatory, and unacceptable and had the potential of creating security challenges,” it said.

“In arresting the two, the BNI took into consideration the current volatile security situation in the country as we inch towards the 2016 elections. At the interrogation, the two suspects admitted making those statements and acknowledged that their remarks were regrettable and unfortunate. Further checks by the BNI have, however, established that the suspects were incapable of carrying out pronouncements but did so in a show of needless bravado.

But Mr Baako thinks the BNI has messed up its image and integrity by making those comments. “They have embarrassed the institution. It is a mark of inexperience; the integrity of the BNI has been sacrificed,” he said.

The editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper is not the only one to have condemned the BNI’s comments. Security analyst Dr Kwesi Aning recently told Class News: “I think the signal that has been sent out is that: ‘Say what you want to say, threaten as many people as possible and so far as you apologise to us, then that is fine.’ That to me is not fine, precisely because it contributes to two things: first, it is sowing fear and creating a society of fear in which people who can contribute to our politics and want to perform their professional duties as effectively and as objectively as possible …are kept frightened. Secondly, it creates a psychological foundation for the actual violence to take place.

“Let us not forget that those who incite and create a justification for perpetrating atrocities themselves don’t take part in the violence. So when people have used this very powerful medium to send out a message that the critical mass of our population feels frightened about, and it has been described the way it has been described, I think it is most unfortunate.

“I think the BNI has a responsibility to set an example that serves as a deterrent to other stations and other individuals from behaving in a way that undermines this country that we all love so much and this country that we will all want to see grow,” Dr Aning added.

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