The National Media Commission (NMC) says it will take final action against Accra-based Onua FM if the media outlet fails to take responsibility over a broadcast the Commission deems “inciteful”.
The Commission last week issued what it termed as “final caution” to Onua FM to retract and apologise for “directly insulting” the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) and other Commanders of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
The NMC also directed the station to apologise to the Ghanaian public for the use of vulgar language and asked the management to put measures in place to “stop the dangerous behaviour of the station”.
In a letter dated November 21, 2023, and addressed to the Board Secretary of Onua TV/Onua FM , the NMC said it would take action against the station if it failed to comply with its orders by Friday, November 24, 2023.
“We consider your letter a red-herring strategy to avoid taking responsibility for your actions. Yet, we are prepared to extend our deadline to Friday, November 24, 2023, after which we may act without any further reference to you,” the letter signed by Mr George Sarpong, Executive Secretary, NMC, said.
The Commission explained that it had the power “to take all appropriate measures” and that mediation and settlement constituted an “inexhaustive list of tools” the Commission may use to achieve its object.
“Ordinarily, we would not say more beyond this. However, since this is the second time you have willfully submitted yourselves to a misreading of the law, we feel obliged to point out to you that the law could not have intended that when we are faced with a broadcaster inciting mutiny within the Armed Forces as you are doing, we should be constrained by complaints settlement procedures,” it said.
In December 2021, the Commission cautioned the station over what it deemed as “unprofessional and inciteful” broadcast.
The NMC, in a statement issued by Mr George Sarpong, the Executive Secretary, to management of the FM station, said it was concerned about a particular broadcast by the station in, which “Captain Smart called for insurrection against the State of Ghana and its institutions.”
That, it said, “by all standards, crossed the line of robust and critical broadcasting and transformed the radio station into a megaphone of war.”