President Akufo-Addo has stated that he did not regret one bit his role in repealing what he described as “the old discredited” criminal libel law which had been used to incarcerate a number of journalists in the past.
Parliament in 2001 unanimously repealed the Criminal Libel and Seditious Laws. It followed the passage of the Criminal Code (Repeal of the Criminal and Seditious Laws (Amendment Bill), Act 2001.
The repeal of the law was one of the major campaign promises of the NPP government during the run-up to the 2000 Presidential and Parliamentary elections and it received general acclamation by the public, including media practitioners.
Speaking Tuesday July 18, 2017 in an address before he availed himself for grilling by the media, Akufo-Addo said “I know some criticise me for my role in the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law which made the media ‘too free’”.
He said even though, he is one of the victims of irresponsible section of the media “I do not regret one bit my role in repealing the old discredited law.”
According to him, the repeal has inspired the Ghanaian media to be “one of the freest and most vibrant on the entire continent of Africa if not the world.”
He said he preferred “the noisy, boisterous sometimes scurrilous media of today to the monotonous, praise singing sycophantic ones of yesteryears” adding that the Ghanaian media has “in fact enriched the nation’s governance.”