Private legal practitioner, Akoto Ampaw, has defended the decision of the National Communication Authority to shut down two radio station, Radio Gold and Radio XYZ.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of St. Augustines College’s 90th Anniversary, he stated that even though there is freedom of expression, Ghana is a society governed by laws.
“If the radio station has been shut down for reasons of authorisation and it can be demonstrated that there are no other radio stations that fall in the same bracket but have not been shut down then I don’t think that there is a problem,” he told JoyNews Beryl Ernestina Richter
Officials of the NCA stormed the premises of the two stations with armed security personnel and ordered their immediate closure on Thursday.
The two stations were handed letters detailing the reasoning behind the order and asked to re-apply for a fresh license if they still wished to operate as Frequency Modulation (FM) radio stations.
Following the shut down of the two radio stations, the NCA has been explaining its decision.
“Radio stations operating without valid authorisations as determined by the 2017 FM Broadcasting Audit are being shut down with immediate effect as an enforcement action in view of the decision of the Electronic Communications Tribunal.
“Following the FM Spectrum Audit in 2017, some stations were found to be in default and were fined by the Authority. However, some of the stations in default were not satisfied and proceeded to the various courts; Electronic Communications Tribunal (ECT) and the High Court to appeal against the NCA’s decision,” the Authority said.
But the Ghana Independence Broadcasters Association (GIBA) has described the decision as too harsh.
President of the Association, Andrew Danso Anninkora told Joy News that, the way out to resolve the impasse is “not the recitation of laws but dialogue.”
Bemoaning the posture of the NCA in recent times, Mr. Anninkora feels it may not portend well for the cordiality which has existed in the past.
“The NCA is being harsh in dealing with its members. NCA in recent times is applying very harsh methods,” he lamented
The operators of the two pro-opposition radio stations have said the closure of the stations was an extreme action and unfair action.
According to them, their attempts to submit the required documentation to the National Communication Authority (NCA) for renewal of frequency authorisation has been unsuccessful.
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.