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Gov’t must suspend collection of TV licenses – Lawyer warns

Government will have to suspend collecting TV license fees until the case involving the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the Former Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority (GRA), Dr. Wereko-Brobby is settled, a Legal Practitioner has said.

Dr. Wereko-Brobby is asking for an order of perpetual injunction which will restrain the 1st defendant which is GBC, from collecting the TV license fees from August 1, 2015.

Wereko-Brobby is also asking for an order of perpetual injunction which will restrain the 1st defendant which is GBC, from collecting the TV license fees from August 1, 2015.

Wereko-Brobby’s lawyer, Egbert Faibille, on Eyewitness News, posited that anyone or any institution who will go ahead to charge TV license fees ahead of the court’s ruling on the case will be charged with contempt of court.

“Whoever is aware of the tendency of any action in any court and nevertheless chooses to disregard the sole and jealously guarded right of the court to determine it and awards to himself the very remedy which the court is supposed to determine, thereby making the case to be determined by the court mute is liable or in contempt of the court.

“There will be a contempt of application if government goes ahead to charge license.”

The lawyer further stated that his client is not against government’s decision to charge license fees but only protesting against the “ sharing formula.”

The sharing formula will ensure that all stakeholders in the broadcasting industry benefit from the funds which will be generated.

Out of the amount, GBC will take the largest share of 72%, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association will take 15%, the Media Development Fund will take 4%, the National Media Commission will take 4%, Film will take 2% and for managing the collection, GBC will take an extra 2% which will bring their number to 75%.

The lawyer however contends that the formula for sharing the fees which will be collected is unlawful and violates LI 226, NRCD 89 as well as NLCD 226.

“It is provided in all these laws that Ghana Broadcasting Corperation is the licensing authority so by reason of that it is the only authority allowed to collect TV licenses and there after, use it for purposes of improvement of its broadcast or TV programmes; so once the law has not been amended, it is very strange that we are being told that Cabinet has decided a sharing formula.”

Source: citifmonline

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