Take further legal actions to entrench freedom - Tarzan to GIBA, others

Take further legal actions to entrench freedom - Tarzan to GIBA, others
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com |Abubakar Ibrahim |abubakar.ibrahim@myjoyonline.com
Date: 24-07-2019 Time: 05:07:47:am

The founder of the country’s first private radio station, Radio Eye, has challenged the media to take further steps legal to entrench their freedom.

This comes in the wake of what Dr Charles Wereko Brobby’s describes as National Communication Authority’s (NCA) systematic abuse of its powers in eroding media powers and freedoms.

He told Evans Mensah on Joy News’ PM Express that he is ready to take up the matter in the Supreme Court if organisations like the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and others will join him.

“They [media] need to come together and fight this. GIBA needs to stop fanning all their rights and responsibilities and say government will do this and that…it is unfortunate it is happening under my brother’s [President Akufo-Addo] government but I believe the right thing will be done…”

The former CEO of the Volta River Authority (VRA) disclosed to Joy News that he has written to the President Akufo-Addo as well as met him, over the shutting down of two pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) radio stations.

He said they discussed issues relating to Radio Gold and XYZ in addition to other issues he felt were ironical to be happenings under the President’s watch.

Dr Brobby’s Radio Eye, which was operating without a license in 1994, got him arrested by the then Jerry John Rawlings government.

He said the president Akufo-Addo who was his attorney then was against anything to do with restricting media freedom. 

“My issues did not include the shutdown of the stations, but it was going back to the fight we started. I told him this is what we fought for and you are now in the position to do something about it. And I said if indeed the court process has been exhausted the constitution grants Parliament the permission to make laws, so an amendment can be made to the NCA rule,” he said. 

Responding to his calls for a legal battle to entrench media freedom, GIBA president, Andre Danso Annin said they have never shied away from testing some of such issues in court. 

He said the Association has had a number of legal tussles with the National Media Commission (NMC) when it introduced certain policies they thought was not in tandem with the Constitution and individuals’ freedom.

“With the way things are going currently, we believe if it becomes necessary to go to court, it will not be out of the question,” he said. 

Mr Annin said the issue of the closure of the two stations is before the Electronic Communications Tribunal which has gotten a new chairperson.