The Judicial Press Corps of Ghana has expressed disgust over a decision by an Accra District Magistrate Court Judge, Efua Sackey, to seize mobile phones of some journalists, who were in the court to cover the proceedings of the case involving the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Obengfo Hospital on Tuesday.
The Corps said “even cover court proceedings at the Supreme Court” but the judges there do not prohibit journalists from covering the proceedings, let alone seizing their mobile phones.
Mobile phones of journalists accredited to cover the case involving Dr Dominic Obeng-Andoh were seized on the orders of magistrate Efua Sackey.
According to her Worship Efua Sackey, journalists could not report from the court as of right.
As a result, she ordered the Court Warrant Officer (CWO) to seize all the phones of the journalists present before beginning to hear the case.
Speaking in an interview on Asempa FM’s Yen Nsempa hosted by Bright Kwasi Asempa, on Wednesday, the Dean of the Judicial Press Corps of Ghana, Wilberforce Asare, who was a victim of the mobile phone seizure, said, “we are accredited by Judicial Service of Ghana and we go to all court to report on court proceedings, even at the Supreme Court”.
He said they have been given enough training on reporting from the courts and they did not go contrary to those rules.
“You can’t answer phones in court but if you work with your phone, you can use it to type but not to record because in Ghana here, no editor will use audio or video recordings of a court proceedings,” Wilberforce Asare explained.
The Dean of the Judicial Press Corps said “we don’t go to court to do something contrary to the laws and we even go to the Supreme Court and no judge has asked us or seize our phones”.
Meanwhile, the Press Corps has petitioned the Chief Justice over the behaviour of the Judge.