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Friday, August 7, 2009

Metro TV Editor Arrested In Court

Drama unfolded at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Circuit Court yesterday when a journalist covering proceedings at the court was arrested and detained by the police. Clement Kigeli, the Ashanti regional editor of Metropolitan Television (Metro TV), was arrested and detained for close to an hour for challenging the authority of a police officer to step out of the court room.

The arrest came moments after Kigeli had arrived at the court to cover proceedings on the case of Eric Adjei Bawuah, the 28-year-old gym instructor who is in the grips of the law for allegedly raping and robbing a 19-year-old seamstress apprentice. The accused, who allegedly raped the 19-year-old seamstress apprentice in the full glare of onlookers at Asafo, a Kumasi suburb on the dawn of Wednesday, July 29, 2009, was making his second appearance in court after he was remanded by the same court on Monday, August 3, 2009.

It all began when Mr. Kigeli, who was standing at the main entrance of the court when proceedings had already began, refused to heed to a directive from a police woman detailed at the court to find a place to sit. His refusal instantly irritated the police woman who ordered a colleague officer to drive the Metro TV regional editor from the court’s entrance. Apparently not enthused about the manner in which the police officer was driving him from the place; Mr. Kigeli showed a bit of a resistance but was eventually driven off. Mr. Kigeli was explaining the circumstances to a colleague journalist a few metres away from the court’s entrance when the police officer who drove him away appeared and caused his arrest.

Though the Metro TV regional editor was not formally charged with any offence, he was locked up together with some suspected criminals in a small cell in the court room close to an hour. Mr. Kigeli regained his freedom only after two senior journalists in Kumasi, Kwame Asare Boadu of Daily Graphic, and Francis Dodovi of Boss Fm, had pleaded with the presiding judge, Justice Adjei Frimpong, in his office, to pardon Mr. Kigeli when the court went on recess. In an interview with Daily Guide, Mr. Kigeli, who looked traumatized, expressed shock at his arrest and detention, stressing that he did not commit any illegality to warrant this ordeal.


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