Counsel for the defendant in the matter between the Independent Media Commission (IMC) and David Tam Bayoh, Brima Koroma, yesterday said that the decision taken by the commission to suspend the monologue programme was to protect public interest.

David-Tam-Baryoh

He made this statement while he was replying to the submission made by counsel for the applicant, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai who had earlier argued that IMC does not have the power to suspend the programme.

Lawyer Koroma said the commission in the first place was established by an Act of Parliament and it is mandated to make rules and regulations that are consistent with the constitution of Sierra Leone.

Citing Section 21(4) of the IMC Act, the defence counsel argued that the said section gives the commission the mandate to suspend a radio or television station for contravening the media code of practice.

He furthermore referred the court to section 23 of the said Act which states that the commission may determine the standard of the overall performance of radio or television broadcasting service by a media institution as in the opinion of the commission.

He added that the said section gives the respondent the discretion to decide what in their opinion ought to be the standard of performance required by them.

“This provision actually mandates the commission to inter earlier act as it deems it necessary,” lawyer Koroma.

He emphasised that IMC has a longer arm than to suspend a program, adding that if something falls within a domain that subset is part of the domain.