A law lecturer at the University of Professional Studies , Accra (UPSA), Justice Abdulai has said the National Media Commission (NMC) has a great responsibility for ensuring that all of its members understand the law that is used against journalists for utterances they make in the line of their duties.
His comments are in reaction to the recent arrests of some journalists including Media General’s Captain Smart and Accra FM’s Bobie Ansah for comments they made on radio.
According to the Police, Bobie’s arrest was in connection with an alleged case of publication of false news and offensive conduct.
His arrest became necessary after he turned down several invitations from the Police to him and others involved in the case to assist with investigation, the Police said in a statement on Friday February 11.
Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday February 12, Justice Abdulai said “It appears that all of us need some education with this law that is used against people (journalists). The NMC has a greater burden for their members to also understand the law too.”
He also indicated “Maybe sensationalism may get out of the way but we shouldn’t kill the person with a sledgehammer when it goes south.”
Meanwhile, Tamale North lawmaker, Alhassan Suhuyini, has appealed to the Speaker of Parliament to invite the Chairman of the NMC to answer questions relating to recent arrests of journalists in the country.
In the last few weeks, some journalists including Media General’s Captain Smart and Accra FM’s Bobie Ansah have been picked up by the Police.
The Police said Bobie was picked up in connection with an alleged case of publication of false news and offensive conduct.
“His arrest became necessary after he turned down several invitations from the Police to him and others involved in the case to assist with investigation,” the Police said in a statement on Friday February 11.
But making a statement on the floor of the House on Friday February 11, Suhuyini who is a former broadcaster said “Mr Speaker, guided by this provision of the 1992 constitution, and given the growing concerns in our country over the seemingly state involvement because of the characters who represent the state in the harassment and in some cases the detention of media personnel.
” Mr Speaker, in the last couple of days three media personnel are said to have been arrested by state agencies.
“On this note I wish to appeal to the business committee to invite the National Media Commission through the Minister of Information to brief this house on the development on the media front especially in relation to the arrest and detention of Mensah Thompson of ASEPA, Bobie Ansah, and whether or not the National Media Commission is still in the business of protecting press freedoms in this country.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana