The Republic's Case
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the evidence I shall present to you today will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the accused, Madam Elizabeth Ohene, knowingly and wilfully voiced dissent against a narrative accepted by the Ghanaian media and presented to the populace by same media who avoid scrutiny.
I will show that at the material time of committing this most severe crime, the accused, Mad. Ohene knew what had happened to Abdul Malik Kweku Baako and the GJA President for similar conduct. She knew she would be attacked. She knew her work would be ignored for her person during those attacks, but she was not intimidated. Yes, Members of the Jury, against what was an obvious consequence of her conduct, she still went ahead to write. She still went ahead to pen a dissent that, worst than being a mere dissent, was also beautifully written and logical. It was a dissent in which she committed blasphemy by daring to question material aspects of Caleb Kudah's claim. Worst than blasphemy, she went ahead to scrutinize the Station's handling of the disclosure of assault by Caleb. She punched holes in the story with or without knowing it. And that can not be tolerated in the new 'Democratic Ghana' which our media prays for.
You will hear in a short while how this Elizabeth Ohene is incorrigible. She has been writing even before Ghana's Second Republic was birth and still writes. She even writes for BBC. You will also learn how she has always encouraged free debate by presenting her views on issues.
Ladies and Gentlemen, you will hear from our experts in the media how that constitutes a culture of silence. You will listen to how outraged they are that she won't be silenced. And you will learn the complicated ploy they undertook to set her up for insults and present those insults as representative of the views of Ghanaians. Yes, you will hear from the Editor of Ghanaweb, who will justify that course of conduct. And while the defence may argue it is against media ethics to do that, I ask you, who cares about media ethics in Ghana today?
You will hear that not a single adequately argued rejoinder has been brought against her work. How unfair it was for her to write and say in a way so built on facts and logic that our high and mighty narrative peddlers couldn't counter it save by insults.
And I shall invite you, upon careful consideration of all that you hear, to find Elizabeth Ohene guilty of a dissent which appears to favour the government. Through one of our ignorant celebrities or bot journalists, to bring her on to Twitter and subject her to the cruellest abuse.
I shall invite you to consider the damage people like Madam Ohene can do to our society if left unchecked. People will start thinking. They will get confused. They will put media men across the country to stricter proof on their allegations. More hard work. They will even start demanding accuracy over speed as the GJA Code requires. And indeed, we cannot have that.
That is why she is guilty. That is why you must convict her when the time comes. Convict her to the platforms of these media houses and their morning shows, commit her to the guillotine of their most vile attacks. Commit her to their tolerance when persons misinformed about the issues and clouded by prominent partisanship call to attack her person and not the article. Commit her that none will dare voice dissent in Ghana again- unless, of course, it is against a Government narrative-.
Source: Kofi Opare Hagan
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