Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo has called on the police to drop an “incitement” case against man arrested for sharing an audio on social media accusing him of being a marijuana smoker.
The popular opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) party member Frank Kwaku Appiah was arrested on Tuesday in the Ashanti Region and transferred to the police headquarters in the capital Accra for intent to “cause fear and panic” with the publication on Facebook, his lawyer explained to local media.
“Initially, the police were reminded to bring the issue of insulting the president. But as you are aware, post-2001 that law was repealed … for now there’s no such thing in our statute books,” his lawyer Godwin Tamakloe told local media portal GhanaWeb.
“The President’s attention has been drawn to the arrest of one Mr. Frank Kwaku Appiah, popularly called Appiah Stadium for spreading lies about him (the President). H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo wishes to state that he is not interested in pursuing the matter,” the presidency said on Wednesday.
The President has informed the Police administration that he is not interested in the matter and has asked them to be accordingly advised.
“The President is therefore, convinced that right thinking Ghanaians recognise that Appiah Stadium is merely reciting from an NDC propaganda book, which has since been discredited.
“The President has informed the Police administration that he is not interested in the matter and has asked them to be accordingly advised,” a statement released by spokesperson Mustapha Hamid said.
Frank Kwaku Appiah was granted bail on Tuesday and returned to the police headquarters on Wednesday morning as part of the bail condition before the case was finally dropped, his lawyer said.
Many Ghanaians have condemned the action of the opposition party member while condemning his arrest arguing that it was not necessary because it was not an offence per the law and he had apologized.
Presidents in Ghana since the early 2000s have been subjected to insults by opposition members in the media due to the country’s laws that ultimately respects the concept of freedom of speech.
The National Media Commission is mandated to take action against media houses and individuals who commit slander or libel.