The National Media Commission has disproved Multimedia Group’s attempt to label D-Eye Group, a company alleged to have operated from the premises of the Osu Castle at some point, as a militia, ABC News can confirm.
The NMC in its ruling on the case between the Government of Ghana and the Multimedia Group clarified that D-Eye Group per the facts provided posed no security threat and had no characteristics of any known militia.
Multimedia claimed they relied on the word militia as used by respected legal luminary, Professor Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu, a member of the Commission that investigated the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence which occurred during the by-election after the death of the sitting MP, Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko.
Despite conceding that it was inappropriate for the company to operate from the former seat of government and admitting that the expose was in the public’s interest, the NMC found that Multimedia Group failed to abide by the ethics of journalism with regards to their representation and description of the group.
The NMC stressed in its ruling that, “whereas it finds the presence in the Castle of D-Eye Group problematic and unacceptable, the group did not manifest any violent conduct to be described as a militia or a vigilante group from the documentary as people of Ghana have come to identify such groups.”
“The attempt to expose the fact that the group operated from the Castle was in the public interest. However, in the attempt, the investigation had not been consistent in following the ethical standards defined by the Ghana Journalists Association code of ethics, particularly, guideline 23…” excerpts of the ruling exclusive to ABC News noted.
On March 7 this year, a subsidiary of The Multimedia Group, JoyNews, aired a 22-minute long documentary titled, “Militia in the heart of the Nation” to ‘reveal’ government’s tolerance of a vigilante group training at and operating from the former seat of government.
Government disapproved of parts of the content of the documentary and took the matter to the National Media Commission for redress.
Among others, the NMC averred in the ruling that the inclusion of shots from the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence and attack on the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator were at variance with the activities of the D-Eye Group as captured at the castle.
The commission concluded that there was no predisposition to violence in the documentary. Therefore, the association of D-Eye Group with the Ayawaso West Wuogon Violence and the BBC story from Nigeria were sensational.
The Commission stated that “the commentary on the documentary and the association with the Ayawaso West Violence was misleading and a misrepresentation and asked the Multimedia group to publish the full ruling of the commission since it had earlier published the rejoinder from the government.”
Find the details contained in the report below.