Minister of Communication, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said former President John Dramani Mahama’s comment that the Public Services Commission (PSC) has refused to reconstitute the Electronic Communications Tribunal (ECT) to adjudicate on the issues relating to the closure of some radio stations in the country is “untrue”.
Mr. Mahama made the allegation in interaction with executives of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) when they paid a courtesy call on him.
It is recalled that the Akufo-Addo-led government has closed down 57 out of the 144 defaulting radio stations in 2018 and 2019 following the decisions of the ECT.
According to Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, in accordance with the decisions of the ECT, 30 out of the 57 stations have submitted fresh applications for FM Authorisations, of which 15 have been processed.
The applications for the remaining 15 FM stations are still being processed.
Twenty-seven out of the 57 stations that were closed down have not submitted fresh applications for new FM Authorisations.
Other stations are also appealing their closure at the ECT.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Monday, 14 October 2019, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful explained that “while those cases were pending before the Tribunal, the Chairman of the Tribunal submitted his resignation letter to the Public Services Commission (PSC) in June 2019. In his resignation letter he stated that his resignation was to take effect on 1st July 2019. He did not cite pressure from any quarter as the reason for his resignation and I certainly have never spoken to any member of the tribunal on their work.”
She continued: “The PSC accepted his resignation and decided to recompose the Tribunal’s Panel and announced the appointment of new members in August 2019. The new Panel, however, could, not start sitting until after the legal vacation. The new Panel Chaired by Dr. Kissi Agyabeng resumed sitting on 8th October, 2019. It is, therefore, untrue to say the PSC has refused to reconstitute the ECT, as the former president also intimated. To put it mildly, JM goofed again.”