Kennedy Agyapong

There seems to be a deliberate and well-orchestrated plan by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to close down Accra-based Oman FM under the pretext of saving the public and national interest.

DAILY GUIDE sources have hinted that the radio station is the next target after its tough-talking owner and Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, was arrested and detained over comments he made during a discussion programme on the network a couple of weeks ago.

DAILY GUIDE has stumbled on a copy of a letter written and signed by the Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Paarock Van Percy, to the CEO of Oman FM, Mrs. Stella Wilson Agyapong, and copied to the Minister of Communications and the NCA Board, in which he asked the station to give reasons it should not be closed down.

Sources at NCA say that government is mounting pressure on the body to use regulatory guidelines to get the station closed down since it has been a rallying point for the opposition and thorn in the flesh of the NDC government.

In the said letter to the owners of the station dated May 7, 2012, Mr Van Percy quoted portions of its statute which stipulates that “any breach of its provisions and conditions of the Frequency Authorisation shall attract relevant penalties including a revocation of the company’s authorisation or as the NCA may determine.”

He therefore stated, “The NCA, as required under section 13(2) of the Electronic Communications (EC) Act, 2008, Act 755, is by this letter directing Oman FM Limited to show cause why the authority should not invoke the said sections 13(1)(a) and (e) of the EC Act 755 against the company.”

He also quoted section 13(1) (a) and (e) of the (EC) Act 2008, Act 755 which mandates the Authority to either suspend or revoke a licence or frequency authorization to support his claim.

The controversial MP was said to have declared ‘war’ on Oman FM’s ‘National Agenda’ morning show hosted by Fiifi Boafo who has equally been made to give a statement to the police.

Section 13 (a) of the provision states, “The licence or the authorization holder has failed to comply materially with any of the provision of this Act, Regulations or the terms and conditions of its licence or frequency authorization”, whilst (e) states, “The suspension or revocation is necessary because of national security or in the public interest.”

Management of the radio station has been given eight days, by Tuesday, May 15, 2012, to give reasons its licence should not be revoked or suspended.

Meanwhile, the NCA’s own regulation that prescribes sanctions, suspension or revocation of licences and frequency authorization states in 13(2), “The Authority shall, before exercising the power of suspension or revocation under this section, give licence or the authorization holder thirty days’ notice in writing of its intention to do so and specify in the notice the grounds on which it proposes to suspend or revoke a licence or the frequency authorization.”

Sources at the NCA say pressure is mounting on the Director-General to carry through government’s intention by revoking the licence of the station in a bid to cripple MP.

It is also considered an attempt to disconnect the station from its listeners who depend on it for information, majority of whom are supporters of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Rawlings faction of the NDC.

Management of the station remained tight-lipped on the issue when contacted.

 By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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