The Bureau of National Investigations [BNI], has warned media houses to desist from using their platforms to make wild and unsubstantiated claims else they would be forced to sanction them.
“We also advise media house owners, show hosts, panelists and other radio communicators to conduct all discussions with decorum, tolerance and respect for the constitutional rights of others.
This will ensure peace before, during and after the upcoming elections. We will not hesitate to invoke the full sanctions of the law against any media house, which ignores this warning,” a statement from the BNI stated.
The Bureau made the statement in connection with the threat on the lives of judges in the country by some two panelists on Accra-based Montie FM last week.
The two, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, had threatened to kill some Supreme Court and High Court judges if they made any demeaning ruling against the Electoral Commission in the Abu Ramadan case.
The panelists, who have been widely condemned were also invited by the BNI for questioning.
According to the BNI, after investigating the two, they found that they were harmless and could not execute their threats.
“At the interrogation, the two suspects admitted making those statements and acknowledged that their remarks were regrettable and unfortunate.
Further checks by the BNI have however established that the suspects were incapable of carrying out pronouncements but did so in a show of needless bravado,” the statement added.
The BNI further urged media houses to ensure that, inflammatory expressions are not condoned on their networks, hence the bodies mandated to regulate their activities would have no choice but to trigger the necessary processes to have them sanctioned.
“The Bureau notes that the rights of self-expression and media freedom are enshrined in our constitution, and several governmental and non-governmental institutions such as the National Media Commission (NMC), the National Communications Authority (NCA), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and other civil society organisations recognised by statutes or otherwise have a primary responsibility to regulate the communications sector and avoid inflammatory comments that has the potential to threaten the peace and stability of the country.”
The Bureau also assured the judges of maximum protection at all times. “The Bureau assures the judiciary, the good people of Ghana and all foreigners within the jurisdiction that we shall continue to work with all the other state security agencies to ensure their safety at all times.”