Content law not thrown out, NMC was asked to be specific – Sophia Akuffo

Ghana Politics

Politics / Ghana Politics 78 Views

Chief Justice nominee, Sophia Akuffo says the National Media Commission (NMC)’s Content law was struck down by the Supreme Court because it was not specific.

The Supreme Court judge said the regulations being made by the media regulator was “overly-broad” and created constitutional problems.

Speaking before Parliament’s Appointments Committee Friday, she said the apex court's ruling was for the law to be made clearer to elicit the right response from media houses.

Related Article: Supreme Court freezes NMC media law

“What we were calling on the Commission was to go back to the drawing board and become more specific,” she said.

The NMC’s law, which was to compel media houses to submit their programmes to the Commission for approval, was suspended following a ruling by the apex court last year.

In the law, media houses that default in the submission of their programme guides to the Commission would pay a fine or serve between two and five-year jail terms.

The Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) sued the Commission at the Supreme Court over the law. GIBA argued aspects of the content law were not in sync with the country's constitution.

In a ruling delivered by a seven-member panel led by Justice Akuffo, the highest court of the land held the view that the NMC’s Content Standards Regulations 2015 (L.I.2224) amounted to censorship that contravenes Article 162 Clause (2) of the 1992 Constitution.

The apex court ordered the Commission to suspend implementation of the Regulations.

Asked by Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini if the ruling by the court will not cripple the NMC in the discharge of its work, the CJ nominee said it was not intended to do that.

Justice Akuffo said the law should have been specific considering it carried punitive measures against media houses that fail to comply with the regulations. She said the Commission is expected to rework on the law to comply with the constitution.