10 March 2014

Liberia: Radio Host Resigns Over Liberian Government's Interference in His Work

Center for Media Studies & Peace Building

Liberia's popular radio talk show host - Henry Costa, of the Costa Show - has finally parted ways with the management of Hott FM, Liberia's entertainment radio station. While broadcasting on air on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Mr Costa was unknowingly taken off the airwaves on the direct orders of the station manager, Bernard Benson.

The decision by Costa to leave the station is predicated on what he termed as "persistent interference from the government by the management of the station over the show's content and critical comments of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf government".

In a letter to his listening audience, Costa expressed frustration over management's interference as a result of orders made by the government. He alleged that lately Mr Benson has been acting on the orders of Mr. Fumbah Sirleaf, the President's son who is also the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), simply because Costa had responded to numerous threats made against him by Mr Sirleaf.

In the early morning of August 22, 2013, a few hours after the jailing of journalist Rodney Sieh, editor of the FrontPage Africa newspaper, the Costa Show was taken off the air.

A confirmed report said that Henry Costa was asked by the management of Hott FM Radio, on instruction of the government of Liberia, to stay off the premises of the station for comments he made at the Civil law court on August 21, 2013.

Meanwhile, Mr. Costa has informed his listening audience that he is facing an investigation by the Ministry of Justice on a complaint filed against him by Mr Sirleaf, alleging he had threatened Sirleaf's life. Costa was expected to appear at the Ministry of Justice on March 4, 2014.

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