Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Lawyers for suspended New Patriotic Party (NPP) General Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyepong have petitioned the National Media Commission (NMC) over what they call unethical conduct allegedly exhibited by Joy FM – an Accra-based radio station - and its online platform myjoyonline.com.
These media organizations, owned and operated by Multimedia Group Limited, are accused of “putting out palpable lies and concocted stories” about events in the NPP, especially those concerning the embattled General Secretary, including his infamous ‘fufu eating’ saga in Kumasi.
“There has been consistent unethical and unprofessional reportage by Joy FM and myjoyonline relating to issues concerning Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong since he became the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party,” Korsah & Associates, representing Mr. Agyepong, said in the petition.
“The unfortunate and a perfectly calculated ploy to dent Mr. Agyepong’s image has seen significant escalation recently,” they complained adding, “Mr. Agyepong has personally and through his aides complained to the producers and reporters of the respective media outlets under the management of Multimedia Broadcasting Group Ltd about the numerous false stories concerning his person, but all his complaints have fallen on deaf ears,” the lawyers averred.
According to the petitioner, on 26th May, 2015, “myjoyonline, without reference to the office of the General Secretary of the NPP, published a fake resignation letter attributed to Mr. Agyepong. Despite repeated denials the media house has kept the false story on their website.”
Fufu In Kumasi
“Both Joy Fm and myjoyonline had earlier in the month unethically recorded and published a story arising out of an off-record conversation with Mr. Evans Mensah, a reporter who had called Mr. Agyepong to arrange an interview. The story sought to portray Mr. Agyepong as an irresponsible, disrespectful and cheeky person,” according to the petitioner.
He said, “Both Joy Fm and myjoyonline used extracts from this private conversation to create a story by quoting Mr. Agyepong as follows ‘Tell them, I am eating fufu in Kumasi. I don’t know anything about this meeting,’ in a story with the headline ‘I had no knowledge of Steering Committee meeting – Kwabena Agyepong.’”
Afoko Still Chairman
The petitioner further said that on 28th October, 2015, “Both Joy Fm and Myjoyonline once again after an interview with Davis Opoku Ansah, aide to Mr. Agyepong, deliberately and disingenuously crafted a story with the headline, ‘Paul Afoko is still NPP National Chairman – Kwabena Agyepong,’ quoting Mr. Agyepong and using his picture which became the main grounds for the petition against Mr. Agyepong.”
The petitioner said that on 3rd December, 2015, a news article published on myjoyonline under the headline, "Kwabena Agyapong faces possible suspension,” stated among other things, that he had to ‘recoil’ and ‘apologise’ following the petition for his suspension and said “no such thing happened.”
Furthermore, on 10th December, 2015 under the headline, "Hajia Fati 'sweeps away' Kwabena Agyepong, Sammy Crabbe after suspensions," he said myjoyonline and Joy Fm “blatantly peddled falsehood that he had resorted to begging for mercy.
“This also never transpired during the encounter between Mr. Agyepong and the National Disciplinary Committee as evidenced by the report submitted to the National Executive Committee,” the petition stated.
The petitioner said the committee’s report never stated anywhere that his wife, Mrs. Lawrencia Agyepong’s scholarship was provided by the NDC government yet, the Multimedia networks “continue to hold on to this malicious allegation in order to tarnish Mr. Agyepong’s reputation.”
“We wish to state emphatically that the only audio tapes that were played are the off-record conversation with Mr. Evans Mensah, a reporter of Joy Fm who unethically recorded the conversation and used same as the basis for the infamous Fufu story and the interview on Okay Fm with regards to that same story. For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state that there was no discussion on the flagbearer of NPP on these tapes and at no point did Mr. Agyepong admit to any derogatory or disparaging comment about the flagbearer for which Mr. Agyepong apologized as the fictitious report published by myjoyonline sought to portray.”