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Onua FM given Nov. 24 deadline to apologize for Captain Smart's attack on CDS, army chiefs

Local News

7 months ago
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The National Media Commission (NMC) has issued a deadline to Media General, operators of Onua TV/FM to issue an apology for a 2021 broadcast deemed inciteful.

The NMC vowed in a letter dated November 21, 2023, to take undisclosed action against the station if they refused to heed the November 24 deadline.

The letter, cited by the Ghana News Agency in its report was addressed to the Board Secretary of Onua TV/Onua FM.

It was a response to a letter the station had written in respect of a petition against its broadcast dating back to 2021.

In the said broadcast one of its most prominent on-air personalities and host of the Onua Maakye show, Captain Smart made comments deemed as insulting to the army chief and his commanders.

“Captain Smart called for an insurrection against the State of Ghana and its institutions,” the NMC letter at the time stated adding that the conduct, “by all standards, crossed the line of robust and critical broadcasting and transformed the radio station into a megaphone of war.”

In its latest letter, the NMC boss, George Sarpong, said: “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 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”.

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.

source: Ghanaweb.com