GJA to sue Hajia Fati for allegedly assaulting journalist

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The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) is considering legal action against a member of the New Patriotic Party, Hajia Fati, who has confirmed slapping a journalist on duty.

The president of the association, Affail Monney, said all other cases of assault of journalists will be followed closely to ensure justice is served.
He said the GJA will follow this issue to its logical conclusion, including seeking legal remedies. 
He described as shameful and condemnable, the assault on the Multimedia journalist, Ohemaa Sekyiwaa, and charged the NPP to call Hajia Fati to order, having gained notoriety for assaulting journalists.
He gave the assurance at a press conference held yesterday to condemn the serial cases of assault on journalists.
According to him, the attack by Hajia cannot be countenanced in all circumstances, particularly coming on the heels of the World Press Freedom Day celebrations, hosted by Ghana, which has earned the country enormous plaudits in the international community and rippling economic benefits in terms of foreign direct investment.
Last Friday, a journalist with Adom FM was slapped by Hajia Fati for taking a photograph of her at the NPP Headquarters.
Ohemaa Sekyiwaa had gone to cover a story at the NPP HQ, which has been bustling with activities ahead of elections for national executives.
A suspended Second Vice-Chairman of the party, Sammy Crabbe was prevented by Hajia Fati from picking a form to contest the upcoming elections.
According to her, a suspended member cannot contest an upcoming election.
In the midst of the controversy, Ohemaa Sekyiwaa decided to take pictures of the incident to aid her work.
She was, however, prevented from doing so with a hefty slap from the NPP member.
Hajia Fati has since confirmed slapping the journalist, saying she did not look like a journalist but an “onion seller”.
She added that Ohemaa Sekyiwaa did not ask her permission before attempting to take a picture of her.
Her conduct has been wildly condemned by persons within the journalism profession.
The assault on Sekyiwaa comes barely a month after a Joy reporter, Latif Iddrisu, was assaulted by uniform-wearing, gun-wielding police officers at the Police HQ.
He had gone there to cover the arrest of the Deputy Secretary of the NDC, Koku Anyidoho.
According to the reporter, he went to ask a harmless question of the police officers, who were having a hard time controlling marauding NDC supporters who had converged at the police HQ in solidarity with the arrested national executive.
His question about what equipment the police was using to control the crowd angered the police officers on duty, who assaulted him and left him with a cracked skull.
Wading into the issues of assault, the President of the GJA, Affail Monney, said journalists must first think about their safety before the news.
The Association of Women in Media (ASWIM) has also expressed regret over the attack on Ohemaa Sekyiwaa
According to the association, it is unfortunate “such maltreatment of a journalist should occur in the 21st century and immediately after the celebration of World Press Freedom Day here in Ghana.”

Many media players have already asked the government to take a decisive action against Hajia Fati, who is reported to have physically assaulted others in the past.

The Association of Women in Media says it has taken a strong view of the matter, and has demanded that justice be served.

By John Elliot HAGAN, Accra

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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An Entrepreneur, Corporate Communications Executive and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A Senior Journalist with Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). In 2015, he won a £35,000 postgraduate scholarship to study MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow who studied at Clark Atlanta University in USA on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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