General News of Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Only a court order can compel the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to withdraw the Journalist of the Year award conferred on investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas recently, president of the association, Mr Affail Monney has said.
This was in response to a petition to the GJA by Justice Paul Uuter Dery, one of the High Court judges implicated in the bribery scandal exposé which won Anas the laurel, to withdraw it since he (Justice Dery) is still challenging the propriety of Anas’ two-year undercover investigation and its findings in court.
Anas was adjudged the 2015 Best Journalist and was given a Hyundai SUV and a plaque for exposing 34 judges who were caught on videotape taking bribes to pervert justice. The judges include 22 Magistrates 12 High Court judges including Justice Dery who contends that since he is challenging the findings of the investigative work in court, it will be prejudicial for the GJA to award Anas based on that same investigative work.
Justice Dery remarked in his 12-page petition: “By the GJA Award, are you not prejudicing the outcome of the case before the courts, especially the Supreme Court? Is it not contempt pendent lite?
“I am, therefore, by this letter drawing your attention to the consequences of the award GJA gave to Anas Aremeyaw Anas while I give you and your honourable association the opportunity to rectify a blatant wrong that has been inflicted on the whole of the Ghanaian public by the conferment of the said award.
“Your response to my letter will determine my next line of action since I am determined to use all lawful and legal means at my disposal to ensure that the provisions of the 1992 constitution are upheld and complied with by all persons.
“I would conclude these sentiments of mine by correcting misinformation going around in both print and electronic media that I am on suspension arising out of the Tiger Eye PI petition. I am not on suspension. No prima facie case has been made against me to warrant my suspension. I am on administrative leave which I applied to enable me to use the legal process to clear my name and reputation which Anas Aremeyaw Anas has sought to tarnish.”
Apart from Justice Dery, the Western and Central regional branches of the GJA have also accused Mr Monney of unilaterally handpicking Anas for the award even though he (Anas) did not make an entry.
But the GJA president insists that Anas won the award on merit. “The decision to give him the award was not an aberration” he told Accra-based Joy FM, adding that it was “consistent with traditions over the years.”