The 16 members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who entered UTV’s property and interfered with its primetime program were found guilty and punished by an Achimota Magistrate Court.
Each party is required to pay GH 200, the court ruled.
Charges against the inmates included rioting and conspiracy to conduct crime. They admitted guilt to the accusations.
This comes after their invasion of the UTV studios on October 7, 2023, while United Showbiz was televised live at the time.
They believed that the program had developed into a venue where the government had repeatedly faced unfair criticism in an unprofessional way.
They claimed once more that A Plus, a political activist and frequent panelist on the program, tore apart a letter the NPP sent to UTV management requesting reform of the program on air.
Later, they were detained by the police and charged appropriately.
The National Media Commission and the Ghana Journalists Association both denounced the invasion when it occurred.
The act was “barbaric and medieval, and it is very much consistent with the building blocks in recent times to establish a state of impunity against the media, one that is worse than the infamous “culture of silence,” ” the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) said.
“We wish to inform such evil minds, both orchestrators and actors, that the media in Ghana have survived all forms of clampdown in the past, even under dictatorial regimes, and that we shall never be intimidated or silenced by any form of attack,” the GJA statement continued.
While some party members attempted to downplay the group’s NPP ties, Salam Mustapha, the party’s national youth organizer, revealed that everyone of the young men who broke into the media facility was a known party supporter.
On Monday, October 9, Salam Mustapha said that it would be dishonest of the host of Ghana’s top current affairs radio program, Ekosii Sen, Osei Bonsu [Alias OB], to dispute the young men’s membership in the NPP.
The party, which was represented by constituency youth organizers and a deputy Greater Accra Youth Organiser, he added, did not, however, support the youth’s actions.
“I can’t be on this platform and claim that I don’t know them. All those in the video I know them. And I can confirm that some of them are constituency youth organisers, and one is a Deputy Regional Youth Organiser [Greater Accra]. They are the guys that I work with, and so I cannot deny their bona fide membership to the New Patriotic Party. As for that, I cannot lie on this platform. They’re NPP members that I work with, and I can state emphatically that I know them” he noted.