Ghana Police still holding Radio Eye equipment despite 20-year court ruling

The Ghana Police Service is still holding broadcasting equipment confiscated from Ghana’s first private radio station, Radio EYE despite a 20 year High Court ruling ordering its release.

This was revealed by Board member of the National Media Commission, lawyer Akoto Ampaw who was speaking at a National conference marking 20 years media pluralism in Ghana.

NMC Board member Akoto Ampaw
He described the continued possession of the equipment as one of the Police’s “quintessential acts of illegality”.

Narrating circumstances surrounding the confiscation of the equipment, the lawyer said although the 1992 Constitution made provision for the existence of independent media, authorities then had demonstrated considerable reluctance in fulfilling this provision by granting licenses.

Despite an application by the Directors of Radio EYE, Dr. Charles Wereko Brobby, Albert Kan-Dapaah and others for a license for commercial broadcasting, the authorizing body had become evasive.

Postponing the decision to grant the license had become frequent, testing the “lawful patience” of Radio EYE’s management, the NMC Board member said.

On 19 th November 1994, in disregard for the Frequency Control and Legislation decree, Radio EYE began transmission.

For two weeks, the station aired its programs to the delight of the public who believed that “rigid pathological monotony” of the state broadcaster had been broken.

But this celebration was short-lived. Police CID came crashing in halting transmission. Charles Wereko Brobby, Albert Kan-Dapaah and other Directors were arrested and charged with the criminal offence of broadcasting without a license.

In the ensuing legal battle, the Accra High Court acknowledged the infraction of the law but ordered the Police to return the equipment.

The court order has fallen on deaf ears for 20 years. Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|

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