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General News of Wednesday, 7 September 2016


You can sue over Anas’ award - GJA dares Justice Dery

The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Affail Monney, has called the bluff of embattled judge, Paul Uuter Dery, who is threatening to sue the association if does not withdraw the best journalist of the year award presented to investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Paul Dery petitioned the GJA asking it to strip Anas of the best Journalist of the Year award because in his view, Anas’ judicial corruption piece that won him the award is under contention.

The judge argued that, Anas used unethical methods in his story-gathering process hence does not deserve the award. He has subsequently given the association up to the end of September 2016, to respond to his petition or face him in court.

But Affail Monney told Citi News, the association won’t yield to such demands, and is thus ready to defend it’s actions in court.

He explained that “Anas doesn’t need any superfluity of proof to show his international solidity and his national competence when it comes to investigative journalism and he has received a litany of awards for what he has done.”

“He is one of the best investigative journalists the world has ever produced. In the wisdom of the association, Anas stood out, nationally and internationally as the best. As far as we are concerned, what happened has been consigned to history,” he added.

Although some regional executives of the GJA have equally questioned the decision to award Anas who they claim did not put in an entry, Mr. Monney noted that, the association acted appropriately and is thus ready to defend their action.

“We are in a dispensation of rule of law, we believe in democratic rights to go to court; we also have the same right to defend ourselves in court. We don’t believe in setting ourselves in collision course with anybody; but we think we have done the right thing and that is our thinking to which we are totally entitled and if anybody thinks otherwise, the fellow has the right to go to court.”

The GJA president also responded to claims that Anas did not submit any work for the awards hence did not qualify to be honoured.

“The national executive decided in line with the tradition of choosing the journalist of the year and I have cited instances where the national executives chose Kwaku Baako and Kofi Koomson. When it comes to the journalist and the promising journalist of the year, it is prerogative of the national executive and that is what we did. We have not offended any law, principle or policy. In the year 2000, Kweku Baako, one of the media celebrities in Ghana, did not submit any story or entry but in that year, Kweku Baako stood out as the number one crusader for press freedom and he was honoured. So this is not the first time. What we did was not an aberration, was not inconsistent with the traditions over the best journalist of the year,” he argued.