General News of Thursday, 14 March 2019
The government has petitioned the National Media Commission (NMC) to investigate Joy News’ Manasseh Azure Awuni’s recent video documentary titled ‘Militia in the Heart of the Nation’.
“Respectfully the government of Ghana brings this complaint pursuant to article 167( b) of the Constitution as well as Section 2 (1) (b) of the National Media Commission Act, 1993 (Act 449) and invite you to investigate the publication, the subject matter of this complaint,” the petition signed by Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said.
Government is among others seeking an order for the retraction of and an apology to the Government of Ghana on the contents of the said documentary.
“A declaration to the effect that the impugned documentary by Manasseh Awuni Azure and Joynews is misleading and constitutes a dishonest and deliberate misrepresentation of facts and calculated at causing undue public apprehension, alarm and panic,” portions of the petition said.
The documentary captures a group of young men and women said to be members of a private security firm or militia group known as De-Eye Group having a meeting at the Christiansburg Castle at Osu, the former seat of government.
Manasseh Azure Awuni among other things emphatically stated that the supposed militia group, which had two offices at the Castle, was affiliated to the NPP, and that, although it wasn’t a registered private security firm as his checks had revealed, attempts by the National Security to evict them in the past were unsuccessful.
Manasseh thus stated that the group had the support of a higher hand in government for which reason they could have access to the Castle, a supposed security installation, which houses some ministries.
De-eye sues Multimedia
De-Eye Group Limited has also sued Multimedia Group and Manasseh over the documentary, demanding GHc10 million in damages.
“The plaintiff avers that the promotion of the 1st Defendant documentary coupled with the full documentary which was aired on the 2nd Defendant’s network has generated several comments and media attention ostensibly to tarnish the reputation of the organisation by describing it as a militia group when in fact its activities have nothing to do with any militia operations,” it added.
The De-Eye group writ indicated that the company is not a “militia group” as suggested in the documentary.
The company is, therefore, seeking a declaration that the publication is declared “slanderous and defamatory.”
De-Eye is also seeking compensatory damages in the sum of ten million Ghana cedis for “loss of reputation against the defendants.”
The company is also seeking an order “directed at the defendants to retract the said defamatory publications and render unqualified apology in the same prominence on Joy TV and four publications in the Daily Graphic.”