Onua TV and Onua FM have filed a suit against the National Media Commission (NMC).
The suit comes on the back of what the media platform describes as numerous attempts by the media-regulating body to use its constitutionally-mandated office to “harass” it.
The media platform disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, 29 November 2023.
The media platform is hence seeking an order for perpetual injunction from the High Court in Accra restraining the NMC from taking any steps that adversely seek to impact the operation of Onua TV and Onua FM.
The suit is “asking the court to, among other things, declare that some orders declared by the Commission to the Onua TV and Onua FM are unlawful and that the conduct of the NMC in refusing to give the stations an opportunity to be heard before imposing sanctions is a breach of law and natural Justice”.
According to the media platform, it is ready to cooperate with the NMC to “achieve the highest standards in media practice".
It, however, indicated that it will not allow itself to “be intimidated” and shall take all steps necessary to protect its business and editorial independence against actions by the NMC which appear to be “politically motivated”.
It also urged other media houses and the general public to rise up against “the blatant abuse of office else we lose the democracy and the right to free speech for good”.
Earlier, the NMC had extended the deadline given to Media General to apologise for the “inciteful broadcast” carried out by Onua TV.
The NMC had cautioned Media General against the use of its station, Onua TV, to promote violence.
The NMC also urged the media house to put in measures to ensure an end to what it referred to as “dangerous behaviour” of Onua TV.
“Last week, your station carried an inciteful broadcast in which Captain Smart directly insulted the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) and other Commanders of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) as beasts," the NMC charged.
It directed the media company to “put in measures to stop the dangerous behaviour of the station and improve the station’s capacity for regulatory compliance”.
It also asked the station to “withdraw the insults and apologise to the CDS and his commanders. We further ask the station to apologise to the Ghanaian public for the use of vulgar language”.
The station was expected to undertake the directive by the NMC and present evidence of same before “November 19, 2023 after which date,” the Commission “may hear further from” it.
However, the NMC in a letter dated Tuesday, 21 November 2023, gave the station additional more days to carry out its directive after the latter was unable to do as the Commission had directed.
“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 the Executive Secretary of the NMC, George Sarpong, stated.
“He claimed the officers embezzled monies meant for soldiers on peace keeping operations but offered no evidence to back his claims. This was as dangerous as it was unprofessional,” the NMC said in a statement issued Tuesday, 14 November 2023.