We have noted with concern, two front page stories in the Ghanaian Times newspaper under the headings “8 TOP FIRE OFFICERS HOT” and “EOCO INDICTS 7 GNFS TOP BRASS” which were published on Wednesday, March 08, 2017, and Thursday 09, 2017 and same reproduced on www.ghanaweb.com today, Thursday March 16, 2017
The facts are:
1. The subject under reference published in the Ghanaian Times of Wednesday, March 08, 2017, and Thursday 09, 2017 is a subject that occurred in 2010 but has been twisted, skewed and published in 2017 as though it was a new story.
2. The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) investigated the case and concluded with no findings of wrongdoing whatsoever on the part of the officers your news paper mentioned. For Two (2) years, Five (5) months the Officers were on interdiction so as to allow an uninterrupted investigation by EOCO. No adverse findings were made against the officers so they were subsequently recalled for duty with pride.
3. The case was exhaustively concluded six years ago. Two of the persons investigated later died and currently three are not in good health.
4. It was later revealed that Mr. Albert Brown Gaisie masterminded the interdiction apparently to push the top officers out of the service to pave way for himself to become the Chief Fire Officer which he eventually did.
5. It is an interesting and rather curious coincidence that the editorial team of the Ghanaian Times decided to publish this non-issue only at a time promotions are ongoing in the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), especially when the content of the story is six years old the findings of the investigations made public as far back as 2010.
6. Again the newspaper did not consider it fair and useful to contact any of the persons it was publishing the report against.
7. This raises suspicion that the publication is inspired by malice and a possible vendetta against some officers who have been penned for promotion.
8. The Chief Fire Officer Albert Brown-Gaisie joined the Service in 1990. He joined at the time when his mates (cadet course 2) had already started training for 5 months. He never took part in any mandatory fire drill.
9. At training he was DO II without any special or professional qualification. Four (4) years after training he was seen wearing the Deputy Chief Fire Officer rank. This is the highest senior officer rank in the Service. Mr. Albert Brown Gaisie had not passed through any formal promotion interview as required in the GNFS.
10. The rapidity by which he was promoted over others has baffled the rank and file, including retired officers and fire associations worldwide.
11. We are also disturbed that the entire editorial team of a reputable State-owned news organization like the Ghanaian Times would publish a story on the basis of second-hand information without bothering to verify such supposed details from the persons they are writing about.
12. This conduct is a clear and blatant breach of the ethics of journalism and an unprofessional conduct which should be condemned.
13. Equally disturbing is the fact that the entire editorial team of a reputable State-owned news organization like the Ghanaian Times would simply grab a piece of propaganda material inspired by malice and selfish interest and use that as a base to destroy the hard earned reputation of individuals.
14. This is a blot on the reputation of Ghanaian journalism in general and Ghanaian Times in particular and we wish it did not happen.
(Concerned GNFS Officers)