‘GO TO COURT!’ MINORITY MPS CHALLENGED OVER CLAIM NCA SANCTIONS ARE ILLEGAL

‘Go to court!’ Minority MPs challenged over claim NCA sanctions are illegal

Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com
Date: 20th-october-2017 Time:  6:07:33 am

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The Communications Ministry has challenged National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentarians in to proceed to court if they insist the sanctions imposed on some 131 radio stations are illegal.

Deputy Communications Minister, George Andah, says the National Communications Authority (NCA) followed the law to the letter in the action taken against some radio stations.

The NCA said the affected stations violated aspects of the Electronic Communications Act.

“At the end of the day, there is a law that the NCA is applying. If the issue is that the sanctions are harsh, as legislators we know what to do to correct or to amend or to review laws that we think are not right.

“But for now the NCA is acting within its remit and it has the mandate to do what it is doing. Anybody who wants to challenge it can challenge it in the court of law,” said Mr Andah.

The NCA last month revoked the licenses of some radio stations and imposed hefty fines on others.

The stations, numbering 131, include radio stations affiliated to the opposition NDC, prompting speculations that the concern of the Minority MPs is politically motivated.

The Minority in Parliament has described the sanctions as “draconian.”

The opposition lawmakers said the exercise was a "deliberate attempt" to shut down radio stations that are not aligned with the government, asking the NCA to rescind its decision.

Related Article: Draconian NCA fines troubling - NDC Minority

Meanwhile, the Communications Minister has also revealed that the authorisations of radio stations that were revoked recently by the NCA will be re-issued to new applicants.

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful made the revelation on Thursday, October 19, 2017, when she appeared before Parliament to justify the recent revocation by the NCA.

“Indeed whatever authorisations have been revoked will certainly be re-issued to new applicants after due process in view of the long list of applications for frequencies currently pending,” she said.

She said it was “preposterous for anyone to suggest that the implementation of a law this august house has passed is a threat to media plurality.” This she said to counter sentiments against the NCA action last month.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said no media house has been hand-picked to face sanctions, and that those sanctioned actually flouted key regulations.

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