GBC wins TV Licence case

gbcThe suit filed by Dr. Charles Wekero Brobbey, the former Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority restraining the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), from the   collection of Television Licence Fees was thrown out by the Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday.

The ruling meant that GBC can go on with the collection of the fees as planned.

The court, presided over by Justice R.R Batu, however, restrained GBC from sharing proceeds accrued with the National Media Commission, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association and the Ministry of Communications.

The court ordered GBC to give reasons why it should share the funds, with those other bodies within a week.

Earlier, the court turned down a request for urgent Supplementary evidence by Mr. Egbert Faibaille. Jnr and Mr. Dennis Adejei Dwumoh, who were lawyers for Dr. Brobbey and GBC respectively.

It is the case of the plaintiff that Fees and Charges (Amendment) Legislative Instrument, 2014 was passed only for the increment in television fees and did not give any legal backing to the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association and the National Media Commission as licensing authorities.

Dr. Brobbey went to court to seek a declaration that per Section 10(c) of NLCD 226, TV Licence Fees collected by GBC belongs solely to it and not to be shared with any other organisation or institution.

He averred that the existing laws in respect of TV Licence Fees only provide that the fees collected should be used to support GBC’s operations.

He also prayed the court to declare that the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association was not under any obligation whether by law or morality, to provide public service, independent, and impartial broadcasting services like the GBC.

He claimed that Section 10(2) of NLCD 226 also provides that moneys received by GBC “shall be deposited to the credit of the Corporation at the Ghana Commercial Bank or any other bank approved by the Minister of Finance.”

On July 8, 2015, GBC declared a nationwide collection of Television Licence Fees beginning August 1, 2015

Per a sharing formula, 75 per cent of the proceeds is to be allocated to the GBC, while the National Media Commission and Media Development Fund gets four cent each, with the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association getting 15 per cent, and the Media Fund two per cent.

By Malik Sullemana

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