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General News of Monday, 26 September 2016


BNI is a threat to Ghana’s democracy – Lawyer

Fadi Daboussi play videoFadi Daboussi

The arrest and detention of Fadi Daboussi, a Ghanaian-Lebanese author, journalist and pilot, by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) is an indication that the BNI is a threat to Ghana’s democracy, a private legal practitioner, Daniel Obeng, has said.

Mr Daboussi was on Friday September 23 arrested at the Kotoka International Airport and subsequently detained by the BNI for two days for two main reasons: asking in one of his publications if President John Mahama had HIV/AIDS and also making reference to a publication that alleged Mr Mahama had impregnated a daughter of Ashanti monarch Otumfuo Osei Tutu.

This was revealed by Mr Daboussi’s lawyer Hassan Tampuli in an interview with Naa Dedei Tettey on Class91.3FM’s 12Live news programme Monday, 26 September. According to Mr Tampuli, his client was not the originator of those publications but merely made reference to them in his publications.

There were reports also that Mr Daboussi threatened the life of the president in his articles hence his arrest.

But Mr Obeng, in an opinion piece on Monday September 26, said: “[He] was…arrested last Friday for reasons best known to the so-called BNI who defended the Montie 3 after [they] threatened to kill Supreme Court judges. One may be wondering why the President of the Republic of Ghana should be blamed for these obnoxious misadventures as displayed by the so-called BNI of this country.

“First and foremost, Article 83(1) of the 1992 constitution talks about the composition of the National Security Council of which the BNI is no exception. In fact, the President himself, his vice, his ministers, Chief of Staff, and the IGP appointed by the president are all part of the so-called National Security Council of this country of which the BNI represents its investigative organ.”

“Now, as I opened my constitution to Chapter Five in Article 12(1) to Article 33(1) and its sub-clauses, I saw the fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution for every citizen of this country. Specifically, Article 14(1) of the constitution gives every Ghanaian the liberties to his or her opinions, and that is why the Montie 3 had the opportunity to threaten the lives of the Supreme Court judges and went away freely. Can this so-called BNI tell me where in Fadi's book that he threatened to kill the president or any government appointee in the country? Have we gone back to the military era where only the kakistocrats have a say in the country? Is Article 14(1) of the 1992 constitution only applicable to the president and his entourage? Where is the democracy that we've always talked about? People threatened to kill the Supreme Court judges, and these so-called BNI/National Security never saw anything wrong with it. This is so lugubrious/abhorrent and sardonically obnoxious.

“Is this one of the strategies to silence people who are exercising their democratic rights as enshrined in the constitution in Article 12(1) to Article 33? Will these frivolous intimidations yield any positive result to those invisible hands behind Fadi's unmerited arrest? What is the position of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in respect to these frivolities caused by the so-called BNI? Well, I foresee a totalitarian reincarnation leading this country. Once again, I [maintain] my position that the BNI of this country is rather a threat to our democracy, hence journalists in this country should rise against them since they are in the pocket of this particular incompetent government.”

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