The Kaneshie District Court has granted Executive Director of Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson, a GH₵50,000 bail with two sureties.
This was after he pleaded not guilty to charges brought against him for publication of false news and offensive conduct conducive to the breach of peace.
He was charged for alleging that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s relatives had used the presidential jet for a shopping trip to the United Kingdom, a post published on his Facebook page.
He also alleged that the trip between December 20 to 30 was joined by the president’s friends.
He thus demanded explanations from the National Security, Ghana Armed Forces and the Defense Ministry over the use of the presidential jet.
The Ghana Armed Forces however discredited the reportage and asked the general public to disregard it.
In the twist of events, Mensah Thompson backtracked on his claims and rendered an unqualified apology for peddling false claims against the President and his family members.
He wrote on his social media pages, “I made the earlier publication, I withdraw the publication pending an official response from the GCAA. I unreservedly apologise to the Ghana Armed Forces if their image was in anyway affected by my publication. We shall put out for your consumption the response to our request from the GCAA records of the Falcon 900-EX”.
According to the Police Prosecutor Inspector Ebenezer Teiko Okuffo, Mr. Thompson turned himself in after getting wind of an arrest warrant against him on the back of the said publication which the Police described as having the potential to cause chaos.
According to Inspector Ebenezer, an invitation was extended to him but failed to hour same, hence the need to remand him in custody for fear of not making himself available for proceedings.
However, the ASEPA Director’s lawyer, Victor Kojogah Adawudu, told the court his client was at the time undertaking some examination for which reason he could not honour the invitation.
He argued that his client “was misled by a source but he did the honorable thing by retracting and apologising the moment his attention was drawn to it.”
According to Mr. Thompson, the motive behind the publication was to seek accountability.
The case has been adjourned to March 10, 2022.