Lawyer Brima Koroma informed the court that the Independent Media Commission Act of 2000 and the Media Code of Practice give the Commission the powers to set its own procedures in the conduct of its affairs.
The Independent Media Commission, he said has not in any way exceeded its powers to regulate the affairs of media institutions in the country, and that the respondent strictly followed the principles of natural justice of hearing the other side by allowing Dr. Bayoh to fully present his case before the Independent Media Commission Complaint’s Committee.
He quoted Section 23 of the Commission’s Act 2000 that, the Commission may determine such standards of overall performance or specific standards of performance in relations to the provision of radio, television broadcast, D T H, Satellite, public relations, advertisement by a media institution, as in the opinion of the Commission ought to be achieved by that media institution.
Submitting further on the question of whether the action of the Independent Media Commission was irregular or irrational, lawyer Koroma maintained that, as far as the Commission is concern in reaching its decision to suspend Dr. Bayoh’s good governance programme called Monologue, it was neither irrational nor irregular.
According to him, the Independent Media Commission strictly followed the Independent Media Commission Act N0.2 of 2000 as amended including the Media Code of Practice, noting that the Commission has discretionary powers to both regulate the conduct of its own affairs in handling such matter, as the one touching and concerning the Dr. Bayoh’s programme to reach a decision based on its own opinion
He intimated that, Independent, Media Commission foresees the standards of performance in relation to the provision of radio, television broadcasting service as such that the interest of the public is not jeopardized.
“The Applicant, Dr. David Tam Bayoh instead of inviting the person involved in the broadcast which form the object of his complaint to the Commission against the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma, he called the Deputy Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Karamoh Kabba to speak on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation,” lawyer Koroma explained.
He also submitted that the application before Justice Musu Kamara is against the Independent Media Commission that invited him and no other person in respect of the Monologue Programme and that the Respondent never circumvented nor breached any provision of it constitutional mandate and responsibility in reaching a decision to suspend Dr. Bayoh’s good governance programme called, Monologue.
The matter was adjourned to 7th March 2016 coupled with statement from Counsel for Dr. Bayoh’s lawyer, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai to reply to the address of lawyer Brima Koroma.