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The Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) is putting up a spirited defence for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) communicators who threatened to kill the Supreme Court judges on a live radio programme over issues involving the Electoral Commission (EC).

According to the BNI, Alistair Tairo Nelson, 41-years-old and Godwin Ako Gunn, 39, are incapable of harming the judges.

“Further checks by the BNI have, however, established that the suspects were incapable of carrying out their pronouncements but did so in a show of needless bravado,” a statement from the Ministry of Communications purportedly authored by the BNI, posited yesterday.

 Acerbic Programme

Currently, embattled Montie FM’s afternoon political programme host, the owner of the station and the two NDC activists have been under public spotlight for threatening the lives of judges, as well as some pastors.

In the show hosted by hot-headed Salifu Maase, popularly called Mugabe on June 23, 2016 – the day the Supreme Court justices ordered the EC to submit the list of NHIS card holders in the voter register – Mugabe and his panelists threw caution to the wind by lambasting the justices after which they dared them (judges) to arrest them for making such an order.

It was Mugabe, the host of the political talk show called ‘Pampaso’ on the pro-NDC radio network – Montie FM – a sister station to Radio Gold at Latebiokoshie, Accra, who first threw the challenge to the judges.

Background Checks

The BNI confirmed in the statement that “On 3rd July, 2016 we questioned two radio communicators, namely Alistair Tairo Nelson, 41, and Godwin Ako Gunn, 39, on comments they aired on MONTIE FM, an Accra-based radio station, attacking Justices of the Supreme Court.

“The arrest was premised on the fact that their comments were considered provocative, inflammatory and unacceptable and had the potential of creating security challenges. In arresting the two [2], the BNI took into consideration the current volatile security situation in the country as we inch towards the 2016 elections.

“At the interrogation, the two suspects admitted making those statements and acknowledged that their remarks were regrettable and unfortunate.”

It added that further background checks showed that the two were incapable of harming the judges but said investigations were ongoing and that the suspects were reporting to the BNI three times a week.

Usual Generalization

According to the statement, the BNI observed that “Several electronic and print media outlets have become notorious for their intemperate vituperations, personal attacks and outright insults, among others. This is a serious security concern that we will not allow to fester.

“As part of our constitutional mandate to safeguard Ghana’s political environment for all Ghanaians, we advise all discussants to avoid intemperate and inflammatory language and innuendoes that have the tendency to create fear and panic and that tend to cause breaches of the peace.

The Bureau notes that the rights of self-expression and media freedom are enshrined in our constitution, and several governmental and non-governmental institutions such as the National Media Commission (NMC), the National Communications Authority (NCA), the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA) and other civil society organizations, recognized by statute or otherwise, have a primary responsibility to regulate the communication sector and avoid inflammatory commentary that has the potential to threaten the peace and stability of the country.”

Security Protection

The BNI assured the judiciary and the public that “we shall continue to work with all the other state security agencies to ensure their safety at all times. We also advise media house owners, show hosts, panelists and other radio communicators to conduct all discussions with decorum, tolerance and respect for the constitutional rights of others.”

“We will not hesitate to invoke the full sanctions of the law against any media house which ignores this warning.”

Chilling Threats

On the said programme, while Ako Gunn preferred to run down Justices Sule Gbadegbe, Jones V. Dotse and Chief Justice (CJ) Georgina Wood, Allistair promised that somebody called Nash at Mataheko was ready to ‘marry’ the Chief Justice when war breaks out.

Mugabe specifically accused the Chief Justice of using the Supreme Court to usurp the work of the EC so that there could be power vacuum to enable her to become the President of Ghana before roaring, “They should come and arrest all of us and jail us.”

He also said the CJ wanted to set the country on fire.

Alistair said he had always insisted on the removal of the Chief Justice because she got embroiled in a cocaine scandal.

He also accused her of trying to ‘pour oxygen’ in the fire by directing the EC on what to do.

“If you bring trouble, Justice Georgina Wood, Nash says I should tell you, he’s at Mataheko, he says I should tell you Georgina that if you let war break out in this country, he will marry you,” Mugabe said boastfully, “During war, he will marry you for you to see. You think you are comfortable, as leaders, you get rewards and benefits and your position is secured.

“Today you want to sit there and use your left hands to point at things to destroy this nation; we know your homes. Mugabe, the High Court judges, I can stand at one junction and tell you where all of them live or most of the influential ones live. And so their homes are not far-fetched.”

Specific Threats

On another programme, Alistair had said, “I have told you that if this country should collapse, those who caused it will face our wrath. We shall start from their homes. Fortunately, God has cleared the way for us. Those judges who are trying to stoke the fire, I know where all of them live. I know where the judges live in Accra; I know their quarters; I mean the Supreme Court judges.

“I also know the High Court judges, yes! I am telling you. God has a way of …If they like they should bring on something and it will start in their residences, I am telling you in their neighbourhoods,” he chillingly added.

He continued, “When we finish with them then we shall close and come back to govern this country because they don’t have the nation at heart and we have to bid them farewell so that they go back to where they came from.”


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