The officials from the National Communication Authority (NCA) stormed the premises of the Lartebiokorshie-based Radio Gold with armed security personnel and ordered its immediate closure.
The shutdown is the latest move by the regulator to clamp down on radio stations operating without valid authorizations.
The action, according to the Authority, was an enforcement of the decision of the Electronic Communications Tribunal which includes closing down radio stations operating without valid authorisations.
But the management of Radio Gold has contested the basis for the shutdown. They said they have been engaging NCA to correct the situation regarding their license.
The NCA in a press release Saturday outlined the chronology of happenings between it and the pro-opposition station leading to the shutdown.
Below is the chronology of what happened.
October 3, 1995
NETWORK BROADCASTING LIMITED, Radio Gold (The Company) was granted Authorisation to operate a commercial FM Station in Accra on the frequency of 90.5MHz.
October 2, 2000
The Company’s Authorisation EXPIRED but Company did not submit a renewal application prior to its expiry
September 29, 2008
The NCA wrote to the company reminding them that their Authorisation had EXPIRED and as such, they were operating without a valid Authorisation. The NCA requested the Company to submit a renewal application within thirty (30) days, attaching the guidelines for renewal of FM Authorisation as well as NCA Application form AP04.
October 28, 2008
The 30-day period granted to the company to apply for renewal of Authorisation EXPIRED but the company did not submit a renewal application.
August 25, 2009
The NCA wrote a Final Notice to the Company referencing the letter of September 29, 2008, as well as a telephone conversation with a Director of the company, Rashid Tanko Amidu and reminded the company that their Authorisation had EXPIRED. The company was requested to apply for a renewal by September 25, 2009, failing which the Frequency will be withdrawn and the company closed down.
September 25, 2009
The Thirty-day period granted to the company to apply for renewal of Authorisation EXPIRED but the company did not submit a renewal application.
September 29, 2009
The Company submitted an incomplete renewal application. The company did not submit Audited Financial statements for the past 5 years as well as SSNIT and Tax Clearance Certificates.
November 23, 2009
The NCA wrote to the company informing them of the omitted documents required for renewal of their Authorisation. The company was requested to submit the omitted documents to enable the NCA process their renewal application.
June 29, 2016
The NCA wrote to the company referencing the letter of August 25, 2009, informing them of their EXPIRED Authorisation and that their operations are illegal. The company was requested to submit a complete renewal application accordingly.
June 23, 2017
The NCA issued a Notice of Suspension to the company for its failure to submit a complete set of documents to renew its Authorisation prior to its expiry. The company was informed that their station will be closed down after 30 days.
July 24, 2017
The company submitted a letter applying for renewal of Authorisation. The letter was however received but all other attachments were not received by the NCA.
September 26, 2017
The company was fined ¢31,590,000 as a penalty for failure to submit a complete renewal application for a total of 3,159 days for the period October 29, 2008, to June 23, 2017.
September 29, 2017
Bram-Larbi, Beecham & Co., Lawyers for the company wrote to The NCA requesting for a revocation of the penalties imposed on the company since they were unlawful.
October 23, 2017
The NCA wrote to company granting a 50% reprieve on the fine as approved by Minister of Communications. The Company was requested to pay fine of ¢15,795,000 within 30 days, failing which station will be closed down.
November 14, 2017
Bram-Larbi, Beecham & Co., Lawyers for the company appealed to The NCA to revoke the penalties imposed on the company and requested for a meeting with The NCA to discuss their concerns.
November 18, 2017
The NCA acknowledged the letter from the company’s lawyers informing them their submissions are being reviewed.
December 21, 2017
The NCA wrote to company granting amnesty on the sanctions imposed on them. The company was requested to pay a reduced fine of GH3,650,000.00 for an infraction period of 365 days and a daily fine of 410,000.00 based on the company’s classification as an Urban Type 1 station.
January 11, 2018
A meeting was held between the NCA and the company represented by Henry Laryea and Alfred Tetteh to discuss the renewal of the companies Authorisation. The company was informed that the documents they presented at the meeting for renewing their Authorisation were incomplete and as such The NCA could not accept them.
January 12, 2018
The Company submitted a complete renewal application and paid the application fees. The application was however not processed due to the case filed by GIBA on behalf of the company at the Electronic Communications Tribunal (ECT).
June 18, 2018
The ECT gave its ruling in the case of GIBA (suing for and on behalf of Radio Gold and 8 others). The ECT quashed the penalties imposed on the company, however, the ECT stated that a former holder of a Frequency Authorisation reverts to the same position as a fresh applicant when the Authorisation expires and as such Radio Gold does not have a valid Authorisation to operate an FM Radio station.
May 8, 2019
The NCA issued a letter to the company directing them to cease operations since they did not have a valid Authorisation.
May 9, 2019
The company was closed down for operating without a valid Authorisation.