The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) has condemned threats made by two communicators on Accra-based Montie FM, inciting the general public against judges.

The two, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn who are communicators of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC)  - there are reported to have threatened to cause harm and kill Supreme Court and High Court judges.

The association in a statement signed by its President Affail Money condemned the two panelist asking for the laws to take full course against them for their treacherous statements.

“We find such intimidation of the judiciary who are the final arbiters of justice totally unacceptable and call on the National Media Commission with support from the National Communication Authority to investigate the matter and ensure that the law takes its cause to serve as a deterrent to persons contemplating such undemocratic practices and irresponsible behaviour, especially this election year.”

The statement further indicated that even though the judiciary is not above reproach, “people with grievances must take to laid down procedures rather than adopt such Machiavellian tactics. Such crude methods of intimidation should not be tolerated since they have the potential to undermine the democratic process and endanger the peace which is so vital in an election year”.

The Ghana Bar Association earlier condemned the threats and called on the appropriate stakeholder to investigate and prosecute the two panelists.  However, the panelists turned themselves in at the offices of the BNI on Sunday (July 3, 2016).

The GJA finally called on the media to play their role as “gatekeepers” to their utmost best to prevent any circumstances that could mare the peace of the country.

Find below the full statement

GJA condemns threats against judiciary

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), without reservations and restraint, condemns two panelists alleged to have threatened the lives of judges in the country during a discussion programme on Montie FM, an Accra-based radio station.

We find such intimidation of the judiciary who are the final arbiters of justice totally unacceptable and call on the National Media Commission with support from the National Communication Authority to investigate the matter and ensure that the law takes its cause to serve as a deterrent to persons contemplating such undemocratic practices and irresponsible behavior, especially this election year.

The Judiciary is certainly not above reproach. However, people with grievances must take to laid down procedures rather than adopt such Machiavellian tactics. Such crude methods of intimidation should not be tolerated since they have the potential to undermine the democratic process and endanger the peace which is so vital in an election year.

The GJA gives every encouragement to the media to promote healthy political discourse but never to relax in their gate-keeping role in ensuring that divisive and derogatory utterances, especially those that raise the political temperature are not allowed on our airwaves.

We take this opportunity to once again draw the attention of all stakeholders, including the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) to ensure that operators of broadcasting stations avoid such intemperate behavior and infuse greater responsibility in terms of civility, decorum and circumspection on the airwaves in particular and the media in general.

Signed:

Affail Monney

(GJA President)