On Tuesday the 12th of October 2010 a purported journey to Tamale the Northern Regional capital from Accra the nation’s capital turned to be the developing story that will grip the nation for well over two weeks with accusations and counter accusations as well as half truths and blatant conjuring being the order of the day.
The facts of the case are that a certain Amina Mohammed came to the studios of Adom fm a Tema based radio station and an arm of media giant Multimedia Group operators of over 5 radio stations and cable TV to give evidence of a mass rape and armed robbery attack which took place on a Tamale bound Yutong bus on the 12th of October, after a friend she had confided in about the incident had reported the story to Adom fm.
Adom fm and by extension the Multimedia Group maintain they fulfilled all the necessary requirements before airing the comments of Amina. To say that armed robbery is quite rampant is stating the obvious but what made this story quite intriguing and alarming was the so-called mass rape which the robbers ordered including a 14 year old girl who was made to sleep with her own father who was accompanying her to school. The girl and her father’s purported ordeal gripped the nation with many families wondering where the nation was heading and if the security agencies were up to the task of providing efficient and effective security to citizens.
In the ensuing cacophony the Police came out rather hastily to condemn Amina of concocting the story and that the whole thing was a hoax. The police on their part admitted there was an attempted robbery with the robbers shooting through the windscreen of the bus but the driver managed to drive through the barricade they had mounted and reported the incident to the Ejisu Police where he was issued with a report indicating the attempted robbery, so he could access his insurance money and asked to proceed on to Tamale.
Why the Police allowed the bus and the passengers to proceed on to Tamale after such an incident begets belief as forensic evidence could have been gathered for better investigation.
Quite early on in the Amina bus mystery the leadership of the Police force was summoned by the president to explain what was going on, we understand the Police painted a picture of calmness, assuring the President that he needn’t loose sleep over the incident whiles Adom fm maintain they as the primary source of the breaking of the news, they weren’t contacted by the police to give their side of the story before the meeting with the President.
In all of these, the driver of the vehicle has maintained that there was an attempted robbery at Kubease near Ejisu but there was no such thing as a mass rape on his bus. It is also imperative that readers know that there have been some passengers who have corroborated Amina’s story whiles some have relayed what the driver of the Yutong bus has been saying all along. So who is telling the truth and what is to be gained by lying if these passengers were all on the same bus?
Trust the politicians, they have been at it with the two main dominant parties the National Democratic Congress and the main opposition party, The New Patriotic Party (NPP)trading accusations and counter accusations. Some members of the NDC maintain such orchestrations are meant to create disaffection against the government as well as cause a level of insecurity in the country whiles those on the political divide argue that whiles Amina’s claims do not wholly make sense there is need to investigate the incident thoroughly before jumping to hasty conclusions.
The Police after some investigation have charged Amina under a section of the law which has something to do with causing “fear and panic” in the society. She was denied bail but after public uproar and some intense work by her attorney she was eventually granted a 5000 cedi bail. She has been attending court since and her fate is yet to be fully decided.
The Amina story makes for interesting reading in that there was so many gaffes by the parties involved, Adom fm could for instance have drawn the attention of the security agencies to the information they have gathered for further investigations before going on air with such sensitive information.
Again sensationalism seems to have prevailed over balance and cross-checking by the media and especially Adom fm’s morning show host Adakabre Frimpong Manso. On the part of the Police it appears hasty condemnation, mistrust of the media and the labeling of the incident as a hoax prevailed over open-mindedness and diligent investigation.
The court of Public Opinion has been divided over its judgment with rulings swaying both ways as truly the facts of this case have been confounding and baffling but one can only hope that sanity will prevail in the end and justice will be served.