The Ghana Police Service has announced the arrest of 16 individuals who invaded the studios of Accra-based United Television (UTV) late Saturday night.
According to the police, the arrests were made following a complaint lodged by the Despite Media Group, the owners of UTV, and the Ministry of Information regarding an apparent invasion of the studio premises by a group of individuals.
In a statement shared via social media, the police said, “Following a complaint from the Despite Media Group and the Ministry of Information that certain people had invaded the studios of U-TV this evening, the Police proceeded to the scene and arrested sixteen (16) persons.”
The statement went on to confirm that the suspects have been taken into custody and are currently assisting with the ongoing investigation.
Alleged thugs fill UTV studios during live production
In a shocking turn of events, alleged thugs affiliated with the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) stormed the studios of UTV on Saturday, October 7, 2023, abruptly halting the live broadcast of United Showbiz.
Approximately seven minutes into the show, which was being broadcast live on GhanaWeb, voices of agitation could be heard in the background as host Mzgee introduced the program. The evident confusion on the host’s face was followed by an extended break in production before the program was eventually taken off the air.
Numerous reports that emerged after the sudden interruption of the production suggest that the show was disrupted by a group of men who entered the studios with hostile intentions.
According to these reports, the agitated individuals had entered the studio with the apparent aim of confronting Kwame Asare Obeng, also known as A Plus, who is a regular panel member on the show.
Subsequent videos shared on social media depict a chaotic scene within the UTV studio, with several men calling out for A Plus.
“We are waiting for A Plus today… A Plus has to explain to us why he tore our paper from the NPP party. We are here, we are waiting for A Plus. We are protecting our party property,” one of the men is heard shouting in the studio.
A Plus tears apart NPP’s ‘Reform United Showbiz’ letter on live TV
On September 30, 2023, musician and activist Kwame A Plus took to live TV to shred a letter addressed to the management of UTV by the New Patriotic Party, in which they demanded reforms to the United Showbiz program.
A Plus, a regular panelist on the show, read a copy of the letter during the September 30 broadcast and strongly criticized its content and the propriety of its issuance.
He referred to the letter as “useless” and argued that such letters continued to tarnish the reputation of the NPP, potentially undermining clear constitutional provisions regarding media independence.
A Plus tore his copy of the letter into pieces, stating, “This letter is revolting because we have received calls from people threatening to shut down UTV United Showbiz,” he emphasized.
He added that 90% of UTV’s viewership consisted of NPP supporters, yet they were praised for their contributions to the station.
“NPP members should refrain from such actions and never write such a letter again. This letter is absurd.
“Nobody in this country can dictate what we do on this show, especially when the President of Ghana is a seasoned lawyer who believes in the rule of law. Don’t ever write such things again,” he stressed.
The NPP leadership had written to UTV, expressing concern that panelists on the United Showbiz program frequently criticized and mocked the government. This trend, they argued, raised questions about the program’s motives and noted an unwarranted surge in disparaging comments targeting President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia during recent episodes.