The Ivorian press regulatory body, Conseil National de la Presse (CNP), has suspended and withdrawn the license of Guillaume Gbato, a journalist with the Notre Voie newspaper.
He has been suspended for six months.
In a communiqué issued on July, 9, 2015, the CNP said Guillaume was suspended for making “extremely serious” statements which “seriously undermine the reputation, honour and respectability of the CNP”.
Gbato, who is also the Secretary-General of the National Private Press Union of Côte d’Ivoire (Syndicat National de la Presse Privée de Côte d’Ivoire- SYNAPPCI), made the allegedly problematic statements at a press conference on May 11, 2015. Gbato’s statement accused the CNP of sabotage and injustice, among other things.
“We wish to condemn all acts of sabotage and distraction which tend to take us back; and among these actions, unfortunately, are illegal proceedings instituted by the CNP against the Secretary-General of the SYNAPPCI”, Guillaume is reported to have said. “We are determined to ensure that the law on injustices, no matter where these come from, triumphs” and also that “this is not the first act of injustice committed by the CNP.”
According to the MFWA’s correspondent in Cote d’Ivoire, the sanction imposed on Gbato is a fresh development in the case of the dissipation of donations made to the Press Assistance and Development Fund (Fonds de Soutien et de Développement de la Presse- FSDP).
“The false declaration of an amount of two million CFA Francs (more than US$ 4,000) by the Office of the President for the organization of the congress and the illegal sale of a vehicle belonging to the union was revealed by L’Eléphant déchaîné, an investigative bi-weekly,” our correspondent said.
Gbato has up to 30 days to appeal the CNP’s decision.