The Executive Director of the Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), William Nyarko has stated that the statement issued by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on anti-corruption crusade, days after Joy News’ Manasseh Awuni’s investigative story, suggests that the GJA was taking instructions from somewhere else.
He was speaking on Joy FM’s flagship programme, Ghana Connect on Friday evening, hosted by Evans Mensah.
“Looking at the timing, language and context of the GJA statement, it appears that the GJA was taking instructions from somewhere else”, Mr Nyarko said.
He added that the GJA should rather be seen protecting and promoting the interest of journalists rather than spearheading the interests of businesses.
This goes to affirm the statement issued by the Dean of Information and Communications Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon Prof. Audery Gadzepko describing the present state of the GJA as a “victim of corporate capture”.
The GJA’s caution statement released on 31st August 2017 titled “GJA on Anti-corruption Crusade” has brought divisions among many journalists in the country in their quest to hold government accountable to the people.
The ACILA Executive Director stated that there is absolutely nothing wrong with GJA issuing a caution statement, but “the timing was wrong and needless”, he stressed.
Mr Nyarko further added that if Jospong – the company indicted in Manaseh’s investigate story, had responded to Multimedia at the time the company was contacted, probably the angle of the story would have been different.
He called for the need to train more investigative journalists as their impact on the society in holding governments accountable to the people is enormous.
Last month, Joy News Manaseh Awuni released an investigative piece where he raised concern into questionable contracts the Ministry of Local Government signed with subsidiaries of Jospong Group where it was alleged that the amount of the said contract had been inflated to the tune of Ghc130m.
Jospong refused to give information, reports say. However, Multimedia and Manaseh Awuni went ahead and published their findings after which Jospong Group resurfaced with their responses.