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Manhyia petitions NMC over ‘grave, malicious’ media reports

The Manhyia palace has filed a complaint at the National Media Commission (NMC) against the editor and publisher of the New Free Press online news portal.

It follows an emergency meeting on Thursday by the Asanteman Council over media allegations that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II bribed the Supreme Court judges to secure a favourable judgment for the respondents.

A statement released after the meeting described the publication as malicious and vicious falsehood.

Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of Asanteman Council remarked: “The meeting took a serious view of the grave, malicious and vicious falsehood contained in the publication, calculated to castigate the honour and dignity of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II the Asantehene.”

The New Free Press first published the allegation on Wednesday 4th September 2013 and was reviewed on Kessben FM on September 9. Management of the FM station have since rendered an unqualified apology to Otumfuo Osei Tutu.

Daasebre Osei Bonsu II says it is “highly regrettable” that the media failed to crosscheck the information before going public.

The Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association has also apologised for the conduct of the media organisations.

Luv FM’s Erastus Asare Donkor told Joy News the Council accepted the apology rendered by Kessben FM and the GJA.

He said Manhyia however petitioned the NMC due to what the Council considered as the seriousness of the allegations.

Meanwhile the Asanteman Council has scheduled to meet on the issue again on Thursday, September 19, and the Asantehene himself is expected to be part of the meeting.

Listowel Bukarson, the President of the GJA Ashanti Branch, told Joy News he was yet to trace the source of the story and the writer but noted that if the two organisations had been a bit diligent they would not have gone ahead with the publication.

He advised that journalism is not about propaganda or pinion but facts and allegations that can be substantiated.

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Development Union has issued a statement condemning the New Free Press online publication.

It warned any further publication that seeks to put the image of Manhyia into disrepute will not go unpunished.

Its coordinator Edmund Oppong Peprah told Joy News the Union was “incensed” by the publication they described as “false and wrong”, and suspected that certain individuals who want to “malign Otumfuo” are behind the publication.