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08 July 2016

Threat to kill judges: Gunn, Alistair cooperating – BNI

judgmentsAlistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, who were arrested last week by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), for threatening to kill the justices of the Supreme Court, are reporting three times a week to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), a statement issued by the security body has said.

The two politicians made the threat when they appeared as panellists on a political programme on Accra-based Montie FM. They have since been cited for contempt of court and will appear before the justices at a future date to explain why they should not be punished for making those utterances.

The BNI, in a statement released on Thursday, July 7, said: “…Our investigations are ongoing and the suspects are reporting to the BNI three times a week.”

The statement further added: “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.

It said the arrest of the two was premised on the fact that their comments were considered “provocative, inflammatory and unacceptable and had the potential of creating security challenges.”

“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. …The BNI further observes that thus far several electronic and print media outlets have become notorious for their intemperate vituperations, personal attacks and outright insults, among others. This is a serious security concern that we will not allow to fester.

“As part of our constitutional mandate to safeguard Ghana’s political environment for all Ghanaians, we advise all discussants to avoid intemperate and inflammatory language and innuendos that have the tendency to create fear and panic and that tend to cause breaches of the peace.

“The Bureau notes that the rights of self-expression and media freedom are enshrined in our constitution, and several governmental and non-governmental institutions such as the National Media Commission (NMC), the National Communications Authority (NCA), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and other civil society organisations recognised by statutes or otherwise have a primary responsibility to regulate the communications sector and avoid inflammatory comments that has the potential to threaten the peace and stability of the country.

“The Bureau assures the judiciary, the good people of Ghana and all foreigners within the jurisdiction that we shall continue to work with all the other state security agencies to ensure their safety at all times.

We also advise media house owners, show hosts, panellists and other radio communicators to conduct all discussions with decorum, tolerance and respect for the constitutional rights of others. This will ensure peace before, during and after the upcoming elections,” the statement said.

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