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GJA calls for re-instatement of GBC Director-General

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The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has called for the re-instatement of the Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Dr Kwame Akuffo Anoff-Ntow.

The Board of the GBC earlier this week asked Dr Anoff-Nto to proceed on leave after he ordered for the setting up of special courts to prosecute defaulters of the TV licence fees.

A statement issued by the General-Secretary of the GJA, Mr Kofi Yeboah, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, on Friday, said after a thorough investigation and appreciation of the issues at stake, the association believed the decision by the GBC Board was absolutely wrong because it did not wield the power to do so.

The statement said Article 168 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana vested the power in the National Media Commission (NMC) to appoint the chairmen and other members of the governing bodies of the state-owned media, therefore by virtue of that constitutional mandate, the NMC is the only body with the power to alter the appointment.

“In the circumstances, the acts of commission or omission of the Director-General in the discharge of his official duties do not by themselves strip the NMC of its constitutional authority in such respect; neither do they cloth the GBC Board or any other body with authority to do likewise,” it explained.

The GJA further believed that it was not within the realm of the GBC Board to appoint an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to perform the functions of the Director-General.

“That amounts to usurpation of the NMC’s constitutional mandate. By acting before officially consulting the NMC on this matter, as has been verified, the GBC Board appears to have put the cart before the horse. That is unacceptable because it has the potential to give our constitutional democracy, particularly the functions of the NMC a rough-ride,” it stated. 

The GJA therefore, appealed to the NMC to, as a matter of urgency, intervene in the developments at the GBC and recall the Director-General from leave since his absence was  causing a lot of anxiety among the staff of the state-owned broadcaster.

The Chief Justice, Her ladyship Mrs Justice Sophia Abena Akuffo’s decision to grant Dr Anoff-Ntow’s request to set up Special TV Licence Courts to prosecute defaulters of the TV Licence fees drew raging condemnation from the public.

Although a section of the public supported the move, Dr Anoff-Ntow caused a lot of controversy when he stated in an interview that, the levy was not being charged for owning a television set – which the law stipulates – but for content on GBC.

Domestic TV users are to pay between GH¢36 and GHc60 for one or more TV sets in a household, while TV set repairers and sales outlets are to pay an annual sum of between GH¢60 to GH¢240.

Responding to a question on the payment of TV licence debate on Joy News, Mr Mustapha Abdul Hamid, the Information Minister, said the GBC Director-General did not do broader consultations before coming out with the decision to prosecute defaulters of the TV Licence fees in court.

Source: GNA

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