04.05.2006 General News

Joy FM asked to apologise to Government

04.05.2006 LISTEN

Accra, May 4, GNA - The National Media Commission (NMC) has directed an Accra-based FM radio station to apologise to the Government for its story in December 2005 which sought to impugn the reputation and integrity of the Government.

The story by Joy FM, according to the Former Minister of Information, Mr Dan Botwe alleged that some top ministers and functionaries had been implicated in the alleged smuggling of heroin into the US by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Mr Eric Amoateng.

Mr Botwe had lodged the complaint against the radio station, its Management and Mr Kofi Abotchie, the radio station's reporter in the US. A statement signed by Mr Paul Adu-Gyamfi, Chairman of the NMC, said the radio station should purchase a column in a widely circulated daily to advertise its apologies to the Government.

It said the apologies should be announced in all its prime news consecutively for two days and the directive should be carried out within 14 days from April 24.

The NMC said it found that no top Government Minister had been implicated in the alleged criminality of Mr Amoateng and that Nana Darko Busia was not Mr Amoateng's Lawyer and could not be privy to any investigation of Government officials.

Mr Botwe denied the allegations and described them as unfounded. He asked for a retraction of the story as far as it affected the Government and its Ministers; unqualified apologies to the Government and its Ministers and an end to that kind of report about the Government and its functionaries.

The statement said Dr P. E. Bonzie-Simpson, Solicitor of Joy FM, conceded that there were some factual errors in the interview that the radio station's reporter had granted one Nana Darko Busia, who was not Mr Amoateng's Lawyer.

He rendered unqualified apologies to the Government and expressed Joy FM's willingness to retract the erroneous statements carried by the interview of Nana Darko Busia.

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