The Governing Board of GBC has suspended all legal processes intended to prosecute defaulter of TV licence fees.
A statement issued by the Board and signed by its Chairman, Rev. Emmanuel Adow Obeng, said the Board at an emergency meeting on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, has recognised the challenges that had come in the wake of the implementation of the TV licence fee.
“The Board noted the outcry, anxieties and apprehensions expressed by the public with respect to the possible prosecution for non-payment.”
According to the statement, the Board following an evaluation of the situation has instructed the Management of GBC not to pursue any activity, or set of processes, leading to the prosecution of any individual for non-payment of the TV licence fee.
The statement further assured the general public not to entertain any fear of any such possible prosecutions.
About TV licence
GBC early this year resume and revised fees for TV license after it was suspended for more than two decades.
Dealers in television sets will pay GH¢5 per month, while commercial license users will pay GH¢3 per month for a television set. The payment will double based on the number of devices.
Attempts to charge Ghanaians for owning television sets have not been successful, but the creation of the special court will bolster such efforts in the future.
Section 1(a) of Television Licensing (Amendment) Law, 1991 states as follows: “Any person who contravenes any provision of this law or regulation shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.”
CJ approves the establishment of special TV licence courts
The Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo upon the request of the Director-General of GBC Dr Kwame Akuffo Anoff-Ntow in November last year approved the establishment of special TV licence courts to prosecute defaulters.
A statement signed by the secretary of the Judicial Service, Justice Alex Poku-Acheampong, said the courts will sit every Thursday with effect from January 4, 2018, until otherwise directed.
According to the statement, the special court will sit from 8:30 am to 4: 00 pm.
Public outcry over possible prosecution
Both traditional and social media was heated with debates about the intention of GBC to prosecute defaulter of TV licence.
Civil societies and the general public contributing to the debate felt the prosecution will not be the right thing to do.
Gov’t’s position on possible prosecution
Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid has accused the Director General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) of being responsible for the public uproar that met an attempt to prosecute defaulters for the TV license.
According to the minister, GBC’s Dr. Kwame Akuffo Anoff-Ntow single-handedly took the decision to request the setting up of courts to prosecute persons who have not paid the annual tax without informing other stakeholders.