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Judge angry over media reportage

botchway March 15, 2019


By Bernice Bessey                    .
Justice Eric Kyei Barfour, a Presiding Judge in a case involving the immediate-past Board Chairman of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, and four others, is angry with a section of the media misreporting some of the issues that transpire at the court.
Justice Eric Kyei Barfour was equally unhappy with his pictures used in some of the publications, which he described as ‘ugly’.
He has, therefore, warned the media to be careful and not overstep its boundaries by misrepresenting or disrespecting the court.
The judge wondered whether he is being attacked because he is a young judge, or because he is the one presiding over the case.
Justice Eric Kyei Barfour expressed the concern when his attention was drawn to the media publication by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, who said the Herald Newspaper had been misrepresenting the facts before the court, adding that the paper had even gone to the extent of publishing issues that were heard in camera.
Mrs Atakora Obuobisa said: “We want to raise preliminary issues about a viral reportage by the Harold Newspaper…the court should issue [a] warning to the Editor and the writer of the story for such a prejudicial publication, which is in contempt of court.”
The judge, in response, indicated that he has not read the story that the DPP was referring to, however, his attention has been drawn to the front page photographs. “I have decided not to focus on those, but if such things continue, I will exercise the power vested in me by the Constitution…”
Mrs Atakora Obuobisa, after updating the court with issues happening in the media, said the Attorney General’s Department will be presenting five witnesses to testify before the court, but pleaded with it to allow two of them to give their evidence in camera.
She further prayed the court to allow the argument concerning the in-camera hearing to be done in camera, stressing: “We will advance reasons of the two of them in camera hearing in camera.”
Justice Eric Kyei Barfour, after listening to the DPP’s submission, ruled that he will accede to the DPP for the court to be cleared in order for the DPP’s argument for an in-camera hearing to be heard.
Since the court had to open the windows to ventilate the room because of power outage, the judge moved the case to his chambers, but later visitors were not allowed in, to enable the court to hear and decide on the matter.
Mr. Eugene Baffoe Bonnie, former Board Chairman of the NCA, William Mathew Tetteh Tevie, former Director General; Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former Chairman of the Finance Sub-Committee of the NCA; Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former National Security Coordinator on the NCA Board, as well as a private businessman, George Derek Oppong, Director of Infraloks Development Limited (IDL), have been accused of causing financial loss to the state to the tune of US$4 million. Godwin Tamakloe and Osafo Buaben are counsel for Alhaji Mimina Osman and George Derek Oppong, respectively.

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