A Presidential aide at the Presidency and member of the government’s Communication team, Stan Xoese Dogbe, has taken a swipe at Joy FM and Adom FM for putting out a “false story” about an alleged mass rape by armed robbers on the Tamale Highway on Monday October 11.
According to Mr. Dogbe, “the concocted story sought to create the impression that the country was unsafe and also to cause disaffection for Government”. The matter, which has generated controversy, seems far from over as the police detained two persons on Saturday October 30 to help get to the bottom of it.
The two were Amina, the supposed eye witness who broke the story and the Producer of Adom’ FM’s Morning Show, Bill Bogli. Although police have not concluded investigations into the matter, they have given indications that the story is a ‘hoax’. This came out after they had met the President John Evans Atta Mills who had been shaken by the reportage and ordered the security agencies to investigate the matter thoroughly.
Mr. Stan Dogbe told Citi FM Morning Show Host Bernard Avle on Monday November 1, that Government has lodged a complaint with the National Media Commission to investigate the two radio stations for putting out a false story. “Clearly from the two police stations at Kintampo and Ejisu there are no records of this incident and it is intriguing from what we hear now that the story could clearly be a fabrication or somebody’s own imagination. What Government is doing simply is asking the National Media Commission to investigate the two media houses for putting out a false story, clearly concocted to cause fear and disaffection for the government. If you look at the manner in which the matter was discussed particularly Professor Ken Attafuah’s version of the whole issue when he appeared on Joy FM, one cannot but conclude that some people only wanted to create the impression that the country was not safe” he said.
The Presidential Aide denied reports that seem to suggest that President Mills had pronounced the report as a hoax. “As we speak, a number of developments have come up. The driver of the bus in which the said Amina travelled has been found. He and many other passengers have come out to speak and clearly there is absolutely nothing close to what Amina narrated. Apparently what had happened was that, a bus was travelling to the North and upon approaching Ejisu, the driver found a roadblock and then he mustered courage and drove through but the vehicle was fired at and left with a broken windscreen.
The driver later stopped at the Ejisu police station where he lodged a complaint and continued the journey and later fixed the broken windscreen in Accra” he narrated. Amina’s ticket and other details tallied with the counterfoil in the ticket booklet so the driver and other passengers cannot be lying” he said. Responding to a report by the Daily Guide News Paper on Monday November 1 that one of the victims of the mass rape had taken seed, Mr. Dogbe said evidence on the ground does not support the report.
“I am sure that the Daily Guide has to make that person available to the police if they indeed know that pregnant woman from the so-called rape on the bus. If you read that report carefully, I believe they are culling it from Adom FM which is already struggling to bring some credibility and legitimacy to a clearly jaundiced and concocted story they put out. “I think that media houses must be bold enough to admit when they go wrong. I have always said that there is a certain dangerous trend in our media today, which is called allegation journalism”.
Bill Bogli, popularly known in radio as Papa Bills, the Producer of Adom FM’s Morning Show, admitted in an interview with Citi FM, that he did not make further checks with the police and owners of the transport company before putting out the story. He confirmed to Citi News that he was picked up on Saturday October 30, with Amina and sent to the Police Headquarters where after some interrogation Amina’s statement was taken and he, Papa Bills signed as a witness to the statement.
Asked whether he thinks he had done a professional job Papa Bills responded “Actually, I am not a news person; I am a presenter and a producer so I believe you should speak to my authorities.”