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GJA Faults GBC Board, Asks for Return Of D-G

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The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has asked for the Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Dr Kwame Akuffo Anoff-Ntow to be recalled from leave.

This is so because, according to the GJA, the corporation’s board that asked the D-G to proceed on leave recently over his handling of the controversial TV licence fee collection, does not have the power or mandate to do so.

Dr. Anoff-Ntow was asked to proceed on indefinite leave last week following public outcry that trailed the announcement of the designation of special courts by the Chief Justice to prosecute TV licence fee defaulters.

The GJA in a statement issued by its General Secretary, Kofi Yeboah, said the Board also erred in appointing an interim management to oversee the activities of the corporation when the national constitution has clearly assigned that power and duty to the National Media Commission.

“After thorough investigation and appreciation of the issues at stake, the GJA believes the decision by the GBC Board was absolutely wrong because it does not wield the power to do so. Article 168 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana vests the power to appoint the chairmen and other members of the governing bodies of the state-owned media in the National Media Commission (NMC). By virtue of that constitutional mandate, the NMC is the only body seized with the power to alter the appointment of the chairmen and members of the governing bodies of the state-owned media. 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.

“Similarly, the GJA does not think it is 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.”

The GJA appealed to the NMC to intervene in the developments at GBC and recall the Director-General from leave. It also called for calm at GBC in the face of the developments and urged management and staff of the state broadcaster to focus on its core business of serving the interests of the state, saying it believes that “the dust will soon settle on the matter.”

Source: Graphic Online

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