Government has condemned a JoyNews documentary which details the existence of a private militia trained at the Christiansborg Castle, an extension of the seat of government.
A four-page statement signed by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah threw dozens of adjectives at the journalistic work.
“It only puts together conjecture, malice, mischief, sensationalism and unvalidated suspicions” which contains “significant misrepresentations and misleading impressions,” the statement said.
Setting out to punch holes in the documentary, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said the Christiansborg Castle locate at Osu, where the group De-Eye trains, is not a security zone as claimed in the documentary done by Joy News’ Manasseh Azure Awuni.
The Osu Castle, he said, is neither an annexe of the Presidency even though four Ministers of state at the Office of the President are housed in the building.
There is the Minister of state in charge of Inner City and Zongo Development, Dr. Mustapha Hamid; Minister of State in Charge of Special Development Initiative, Hawa Koomson; Minister of State in Charge of Planning, Professor Gyan Barfour, as well as Minister of State at the Office of the President, Rockson Bukari.
The statement said the Castle, is a facility operated by the Museums and Monuments Board which is under the Tourism and Creative Arts ministry.
The statement said De-Eye group is a company involving in helping “unemployed young men and women find jobs” even though the documentary found it has a commander.
The government response said Manasseh Azure Awuni “deliberately” failed to mention that National Security had closed down the office of the company in October 2018.
But Joy News’ last filming of the documentary took place in December 2018. Joy News sources have also revealed Jubilee House officials and some soldiers moved in less than 24 hours after the exposé.
While the Information Minister admitted the leader of the group, Nana Wireko Addo with the alias “Choman,” was a personal bodyguard to Nana Akufo-Addo, he said he was not a bodyguard when the NPP leader became a presidential candidate.
Giving more information on Choman, government said although he left Nana Akufo-Addo in 2010, he was given a new job as a member of a government taskforce set up to chase former government officials who still kept government vehicles and landed properties.
But after the task force ended its work in August 2018, Choman converted his office for a private business office. The statement admitted, “this should not have been allowed to happen in the first place.”
The Information Minister said the documentary, “Militia in the Heart of the Nation” fell short of the station’s high standards and was convinced it is a deliberate attempt to cast in a “negative light” against the President’s fight on vigilantism.
Click here to read government’s response
JoyNews will officially respond to the Information Ministry’s remarks at 5:30 PM GMT.