Justice Paul Dery, one of the High Court judges in Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ corruption expose’ accused the GJA of contempt of Court for adjudging Anas as the best journalist of the year.
This is the response of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to critics who argue Anas should not be awarded.
Speaking to Accra-based Unique FM, President of the GJA Affail Monney said: “Our lawyers are ready to back us up in court if it really becomes necessary.” He argued that they are ready to defend the decision “either in the law court or anywhere. We will refer the matter to our lawyers who are ready to address it.”
Monney defended the GJA’s decision to award Anas saying even the people “on the street will agree that as far as 2015 was concerned Anas is the best journalist.”
“In terms of what he did, in terms of what he has done and in terms of what he stands for in journalism. Let me explain that we select the best journalist based on a certain criteria and one is that it doesn’t take the number of awards you win for you to be crowned the best among the best in Ghana. We look at your body of works and this work must ignite conversations not only among the media but also among the generality of media consumers. Anas was outstanding, one of the best investigative journalists the world has ever produced.”
Monney explained that a journalist does not have to necessarily submit an entry before been adjudged the best for the year.
“This thinking is rooted in ignorance about the selection criteria. We have a list of examples where people who did not put in any entry were still given the tags as the best in Ghana. I can mention Kweku Baako, Kofi Koomson, I can mention a whole lot of them. When it comes to the journalist of the year and the most promising journalist of the year, the committee can make their proposals we will all agree on one to win. If someone claims that from their investigations Anas did not put in any entry, yes he did not, Anas did not put in any entry but we chose him looking at his work.”
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He also disputed the notion that the person with the most awards at the event must necessarily win the best journalist of the year.
“It is not the number of awards you win. Someone can win five, someone can win nine but the fellow who wins none can be crowned the best journalist of the year. Based on the quality of his work, his track record and also the impact of his work and not only one work but the body of works. This is one criterion we have been using all over the years,” Monney added.
According to a statement signed by the lawyer for Justice Dery, "the Supreme Court of this Nation has stated that the actions of Anas Aremeyaw Anas and Tiger Eye PI are unlawful in respect of showing that video to the general public, were unconstitutional and a slap in the face of common sense."
Subsequently, the lawyer for the interdicted High Court Judge, says his client will pursue legal action against the GJA for awarding investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, as Journalist of the Year on Saturday.