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07 July 2016

We are on the verge of media terrorism – Atta Akyea

atta akyeaMember of Parliament for Abuakwa South has described as “outrageous” threatening comments made by two panelists on an Accra based Radio station, Montie FM.

Atta Akyea said the comments by Allistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, both of whom are said to be activists of the governing NDC may be a testament that the country is gradually sliding in the direction of media terrorism.

The two threatened to kill Supreme Court judges presiding over the controversial Voter’s Register case in which PNC’s Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako are asking the court to direct the Electoral Commission to clean the register.

Nelson and Ako Gunn claimed to know the houses of the judges and will not hesitate to “finish” them if they do not give a favorable ruling.
According to them the judges, do not want peace and by eliminating them, the country would have peace.

The two have since been widely condemned by government, individuals and institutions, like the Media Foundation, The Ghana Bar Association.
Allistair Nelson in a statement apologised for his comments but Ako Gunn denied ever making any such threatening comment.

The two, including the host of the show on which they made the threatening comments, and the owner of Montie FM have all been cited for contempt by the supreme court.

The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood summoned the four to appear before the court on a date yet to be announced.

Discussing the matter on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Atta Akyea said he did not believe that the panelists on a show would have the “audacity to threaten the lives of judges.”

He said their comments which threatened to take the lives of human beings were “criminal” and wondered why they would want to become the spokespersons of the EC.
This is an “unprecedented case of contempt,” he noted, adding “I am very sad for this country.”

He did not understand how people will allow themselves to be used for such hatchet jobs for politicians insisting “I will never come to the aid of an NPP man or station who decides to run down Mahama.”

While condemning the comments of the two panelists, Atta Akyea believes the current law on contempt needs to be relooked at.

Having been at the wrong side of the law on contempt in his defence of Ken Kuranchie during the epic Election Petition case, Atta Akyea believes the law in its current state is open to abuse by the judges.

He had stated early on that the law in its current form turns the judges into complainants, lawyers and judges in their own court, something he believes was an affront to the rule of law.

Atta Akyea wants a revision of the law to allow the Attorney General to put in a motion to commit people for contempt and allow the contemnors the opportunity to file an affidavit defence or in opposition to the motion.

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