A blogger and an IT expert were each given GH20,000 bail with two sureties by the Accra Circuit Court for an alleged fake publication that resulted in panicked withdrawals from dollar account holders.
Following their investigation into a report from the Bank of Ghana warning them about the release, which the BoG claimed had caused fear and worry in the public and led to panic withdrawals at the banks, the police arrested the suspects.
The blogger Jeffrey Eppirim Nyame has been charged with publishing fake information, and his alleged accomplice, the IT professional Jeremiah Kobina Egyebeng, is accused of aiding and abetting. The charges have been denied by both parties.
The next hearing was set for December 29 of this year by the court, which was presided over by Mrs. Rosemary Baah Torsu. During this time, the prosecution is expected to file all disclosures.
Chief Inspector Richard Amoah, who is representing the prosecution, informed the court that police had gathered social media cyber intelligence indicating that on October 27, 2022, Nyame published an article on his news website reportghana.net with the headline “Dollar account holders to get cedi at BOG rate for bank withdrawals effective 31st Oct?” and shared it on numerous WhatsApp groups and social media platforms, causing panic among the general public.
According to Chief Insp. Amoah, investigations revealed that Egyebeng had founded the news portal reportghana.com for Nyame in 2019 and that it had been used to publish similar items before being shut down by Google for breaking their community standards as a result of user complaints.
To be able to use it for publishing articles and events in Ghana, Egyebeng constructed a similar news site again but this time changed the name from “dot com” to “dot net” and registered it on February 11, 2022.
“After publishing the said false news, Nyame then shared the publication on WhatsApp group platforms including “reportghana news feed 1,” “reportghana news feed 2,” “reportghana news feed 3” with over 160 active members where he was the administrator with his personal telephone numbers 0551993013 and 0574144388 registered on the platform,” he told the court adding that the news was still circulating on social media.
According to Chief Insp Amoah, Nyame acknowledged posting the purportedly bogus news but claimed to have obtained it from mynewsgh.com; nevertheless, the inquiry proved otherwise and named Nyame as the article’s creator and publisher.
Egyebeng, according to Chief Insp Amoah, acknowledged building the news platform that Nyame runs and uses.
He stated that measures were being made to apprehend additional people connected to the publishing who were still at large as a result of further research.