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TV Licence courts 'creating backlash for government' – Hamid

HAMID MUS Minister for Information, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid

Fri, 5 Jan 2018 Source:

The Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Dr. Kwame Akuffo Anoff-Ntow unilaterally wrote to the Chief Justice for the setting up of special courts to prosecute and jail TV Licence fee defaulters, Minister of Information Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has disclosed.

According to him, Mr Anoff-Ntow neither consulted the National Media Commission, the GBC Board, the Attorney General, nor the Ministry of Information before taking the decision which has been met with stiff opposition from Ghanaians.

“I pointed out to the Director General that he had not done enough education. Number two, he hasn’t put in place proper mechanisms for collecting these fees. The point is that it is the National Media Commission (NMC) that is responsible for GBC…the 1992 constitution frowns on control of state-owned media so the 1992 set up the National Media Commission to be the body that superintends over the state-owned media. So, the minister of state has no mandate directly to interfere.

“So, I had to speak to NMC, speak to the board [of GBC] and say: ‘this is creating backlash for government’, because what I heard out there initially was not that: ‘GBC wants to put us in jail, it is government that wants to put us in jail’, because the power of prosecution is vested in the Attorney General, and, so, you cannot purport to be setting up courts to prosecute people without recourse to the Attorney General but the Attorney General’s office didn’t know anything about this matter.

“The National Media Commission didn’t know, GBC board didn’t know, the Ministry of Information didn’t know. The Director General of GBC on his own, on the blindside of everybody, writes to the secretary of the judicial service and says that they should set up the court…,” Mr Hamid said in an interview with Accra-based Joy FM.

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