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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

National Security Adviser denies meeting JJ

National Security Adviser, Brigadier General (retd) Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, has rebutted a media report that his outfit held a meeting with some security heads and former president Jerry John Rawlings on the murder of the former Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Commercial Bank, Roko Frimpong.

The Today newspaper alleged in its Monday, November 30 2009 edition that the former president and the security capos held a three-hour meeting on Thursday, November 26 2009 at the Jubilee House (presidential palace) to deliberate on the murder of Mr Frimpong and possibly elicit from the four ex-commandos arrested in connection with the act what might have motivated their action.

However, a statement issued by the Ministry of Information in Accra on Tuesday stated that neither Brigadier General Nunoo-Mensah nor the National Security Coordinator Colonel (retd) Larry Gbevlo-Lartey had ever been invited by the former President to any meeting to discuss the Roko Frimpong murder. “No security meeting has ever been held at the Jubilee House, part of which now houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” it said.

The government says it would petition the National Mediation Commission about the publication.The statement cautioned the media against deliberately peddling falsehood with the intention to frame up people, especially government officials.“To make up a story knowing very well that there’s no iota of truth in it, and presenting it to the public in the manner that the tabloid did, cannot be said to be good journalistic practice.”

According to the statement, the government also challenged the new National Media Commission (NMC) to be effective in performing its constitutional role by ensuring that the media work to enhance the country’s development “rather than fan trouble through deliberate falsehood”.“This definitely is a matter that government will be forwarding to the NMC for action, but we do not think that our newspapers and other media outlets should be engaging in this kind of journalism,” the statement said.

Later in an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, a Deputy Minister for Information, James Agyenim-Boateng, reiterated that there is “absolutely no truth in what the newspaper did”.

Nevertheless, the Editor of the Today newspaper, Richmond Keelson, insisted the story was accurate, “I still stand by” it.

He maintained that stating the time, date and venue of the said meeting gives credence to the story, adding he would not sit somewhere and cook a story.

Mr Keelson noted that the government is not happy with the publication because of “serious backlash” it received.He also welcomed the decision by the government to drag the paper to the NMC, “[I am] not the least worried or scared”.
Story by Isaac Essel/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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