President Akufo-Addo says he has no regrets in leading the repeal of Ghana’s criminal libel law despite scurrilous comments against his person in his political career.
Though the Criminal Libel law was enacted in the colonial era to frustrate the freedom of the people and perpetuate servitude, it was maintained after independence and, in some cases, were even extended during the one-party state of the First Republic.
In 2001, President Akufo-Addo who was then the Minister of Justice and Attorney General under the John Kufour administration led in repealing the law in fulfillment of the New Patriotic Party campaign promise.
The repeal, which was hailed by media owners and practitioners, has since deepened media freedom and freedom of expression.
President Akufo-Addo told journalists in Accra Tuesday that he has been one of the “greatest victims of the irresponsible section of the media,” but that does not give him regrets in ensuring the repeal of the criminal libel law.
The President said though there are elements in the media who have specialised in spewing calumnies, falsehood and outright fabrications against him, he does “not regret one bit in repealing that old discredited law”
“I much prefer the noisy, boisterous, sometimes scurrilous media of today to the monotonous, praise singing, sycophantic one of yesteryear,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo observed the Ghanaian media has “enriched the nation’s governance by its persistence, curiosity and investigative skills”.