The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) in Ghana is treating the two persons who allegedly threatened to kill justices of the Supreme Court with kid gloves, Dr Kwesi Aning, a security analyst has said.
The BNI in a statement on Thursday July 7, said: “The Bureau of National Investigations on 3 July 2016 questioned two radio commentators, namely Alistair Tairo Nelson, 41, and Godwin Ako Gun, 39, on comments they aired on Montie FM, an Accra-based radio station attacking justices of the Supreme Court. The arrest 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.
“Nevertheless, our investigations are ongoing and the suspects are reporting to the BNI three times a week. 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.”
But speaking in an interview with Emefa Apawu on Class 91.3FM’s ‘505’ news analysis programme the same day, Dr Aning said: “All threats that are classified as serious must be dealt with in a preventive manner and you don’t prevent serious threats from manifesting actively by treating it with kid gloves and not using the statutory regulations that are available to you.”
“Post-this interview, get into your car on your way home, threaten to shoot somebody or to kill somebody in traffic and let the person report you to the Police and I don’t think you will be treated with the same kid gloves. It raises this fundamental concerns about how politically affiliated individuals are threated under the law and how nonpolitically-affiliated people are treated under the law.
“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. So, I think it is important and it is imperative that because they themselves recognise such behaviour as threatening and a threat to our stability and peace then they [BNI] got to act on it,” the Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at KAIPTC said.
He said, for example that if, after a few drinks at a palmwine bar, a nonpolitically-affiliated person threatens to kill someone…, “I don’t think that person will be left just like that. The rule of law functions best if the regulations are applied indiscriminately to all manner of persons in all cases. I think in this particular case we ought to have used it as a deterrent and I think we shouldn’t miss the chance”. “…I will feel as if the agency that has investigated this threat hasn’t done that well enough and I think we have got be assured and certainly the judges and all other public officials that their security is well taken care of”.