NHIA Clears Staff Over Assault

Sylvester Mensah, NHIS Boss
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has said its preliminary findings show that none of its staff assaulted a team of journalists from Adom FM in Accra, as being touted.

‘At no point were the media persons assaulted by the NHIS District Manager or any of his staff,’ a statement issued in Accra by the Corporate Affairs Directorate of the NHIA claimed ahead of police investigations.

Adom FM’s News Editor, Afia Pokua, and two reporters, Kofi Assan and Nana Sefa, were said to have been physically assaulted by the National Health Insurance Scheme Manager, Israel Kwame Aryeh, and other officials at the Ablekuma District in Accra—an incident which has been condemned by all media-loving organisations including the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the National Media Commission (NMC).

The above media bodies are holding a press conference today to deliberate on the recent attacks on the media and media practitioners.

However, the authority admitted the police was still investigating the incident, but said it was compelled to set the records straight on matters arising, a move which will clearly impede the work of the police.

‘The scuffle that resulted in bruises to Ms Afia Pokuaa occurred between Ms Afia Pokuaa and a member of the public who had come to the district office for registration,’ the NHIA claimed.

‘In her own statement at the police station, Ms Afia Pokuaa described the person she tussled with as wearing African attire, which obviously was not an office wear on a Thursday—the day of the incident. The person could therefore not possibly be a member of staff.’

‘The incident happened in the full glare of numerous witnesses from the public who had turned up for registration,’ the authority claimed.

They said they were putting out ‘these preliminary findings in order to correct the gross distortion of the event that occurred and is gaining currency in the media.’

The statement said; ‘we maintain that should any of our staff be found culpable for any acts of violence, appropriate disciplinary action would be taken.’

Following the incident, NHIA allegedly interdicted two of its scheme staff and launched an immediate investigation into the matter.

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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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