Information Minister Kojo Oppong NKRUMAH

COVID19: Disseminators of Fake News Will Pay GHC36k or Face Jail Time – Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Government continues to put stringent measures in place to help curb the incidence of fake news spread in the country, especially at a time when Ghanaians are at their wits end concerning the fast-spreading Coronavirus pandemic.

At a press briefing on Tuesday, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah did not mince words when he cautioned agents of fake news; politicians and civilians alike, on the need to refrain from such deeds.

He reiterated that the phenomenon is an offense and thus culprits caught will be made to face the law accordingly.

“Fake News is punishable under Ghanaian Law Section 76, Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775):

(1) A person who by means of electronic communications service, knowingly sends a communication which is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life-saving service or to endanger the safety of any person, …commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than [thirty-six thousand Ghana Cedis] or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or both,” he noted

He also stated that “(2) A person is taken to know that a communication is false or misleading if that person did not take reasonable steps to find out whether the communication was false, misleading, reckless or fraudulent.”

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah charged individuals who seek information on the updates of COVID-19 to verify from the Ghana Health Service website in order to be sure before they spread any news.

“In these challenging times, please consider this law before you forward fake news on Whatsapp, IG, Facebook, etc. You may be held personally liable for forwarding that message. Your service provider may easily escape the net without blame,” he added.

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