Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has challenged radio stations sanctioned by the National Communications Authority (NCA) to head to court if they believe fees imposed on them are illegal.
There was a heated debate in Parliament on Thursday between the Majority and Minority sides of the House following a statement made in the House by the Minister of Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu- Ekuful, on the Radio Spectrum Audit carried out and the actions taken by the NCA to enforce the law on communication services in the country.
Making the statement Hon Ursula Owusu- Ekuful said, the government of President Akufo- Addo is determined to apply the laws of the country and ensure sanity in all sectors.
She said it will therefore be absurd for one to suggest that the implementation of a law passed by Parliament is a threat to media plurality and a calculated attempt by government to kill some radio stations because of their perceived political bias.
The NCA last month revoked the licenses of some radio stations and imposed hefty fines on others.
The stations, numbering 131, include radio stations affiliated to the opposition NDC, prompting speculations that the concern of the Minority MPs is politically motivated.
The Minority in Parliament has described the sanctions as “draconian.”
Commenting on the issue, Mr Ayariga noted that in carrying out its obligation the NCA should not be over zealous in enforcing the law on the defaulted media houses else freedom of expression will be seriously undermined in the country.
According to him, the NCA did not come to Parliament to seek approval for its reviewed schedule of fees for the imposition of penalties against the 131 defaulted radio stations.
Mr Ayariga who is of the firm conviction that the move by NCA is politically motivated urged the affected radio stations to immediately see their lawyers who will in tend challenge the NCA decision at court.
“The NCA’s move is very unfortunate and I think the affected stations should head to court, see their lawyers so they can challenge the fees. I believe it’s just politically motivated and therefore going to court, will be the best because the courts will compel them to set a moderate fine” he said on Accra based Neat FM.