Oheneba Boamah Bennie of Power 97.9 FM, has been jailed for 14 days over false claims against President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and judges.
The presenter was jailed and fined an amount of GH¢3,000 on Tuesday by Presiding Judge, Justice Elfreda Dankyi at the High Court in Accra after the Attorney General charged him with contempt.
The Attorney General’s case hinged on a video that Bennie allegedly published on his Facebook wall, claiming that President Akufo-Addo had met with eight justices of the Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice, and had influenced them.
The facebook posting alleged that this took place after the declaration of President Akufo-Addo as the President-elect by Ghana’s Electoral Commission.
He claimed the President used the supposed meeting to influence the justices of the apex court to rule in his favour in the event of any election petition challenging his re-election as declared by the EC.
In the said video, he allegedly said Ghanaians would not allow the justices of the Supreme Court to destroy the country and urged the military to stage a coup d’etat.
The Attorney General makes a case that through his publication, Bennie wants to tell the public that judges, including the justices of the apex court, decide cases not independently but by taking directives from the President.
Such an assertion, the Attorney General argued, if allowed to go unpunished, would amount to gross disrespect for the judiciary, which is a violation of the 1992 Constitution.
According to the Attorney General, Bennie knew that there was a possibility of a challenge to the presidential election at the Supreme Court and, therefore, by
poisoning the minds of the public against the court, he wanted to cause disaffection for the court.
“That the respondent’s disrespect for the Judiciary and the publication of false news intended to bring the Judiciary into disrepute makes him liable to be committed to prison in order to vindicate the undoubted authority of the Judiciary enshrined in Article 125 of the 1992 Constitution,” the affidavit in support of the Attorney General’s case added.