The management of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) has handed over its Board duties to a 5-member team to take over its operations following a court injunction to disband its current board.
According to the Accra High Court ruling on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, the management of GHAMRO disregarded an interlocutory injunction placed on the election, which was held on March 15, 2022.
Responding to this during a press conference today, the management said some aggrieved members took the organization to court over the mandate of the Board and the Election Process.
The management of GHAMRO was, therefore, fined two thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC2,000.00).
After one year of the case follow-up, the court in February this year ruled favour of the organisation paving the way for the Board elections on 15th March 2022.
The management said they did not receive an official notice of the court injunction on the elections, but only caught wind of the action, a day before the elections.
As a result of the dissolution of the Board by the court, the Chief Executive Officer of GHAMRO, Abraham Adjatey, announced the institution of a team that will handle the affairs of the organisation until they go to court again on 11th August 2022.
“We are a law-abiding institution and must follow the law. So on that note, I have immediately informed the board, and I am informing you, that the Board has been set aside,” he said.
“In tandem with the corporate governance process, management has taken over the running of the society. It also means that the interim directors under whose watch the election was held, will take over the running of the society until we go to court on 11th August 2022,” he further noted.
The team is made up of Augustina Addison, Abraham Kofi Boakye, Diana Hopeson, Ahmed Banda, and Rex Omar. They are the same people that took over the reins of the organisation prior to the elections, when the aggrieved members first took GHAMRO to court.
Speaking at the press conference, Rex Omar, one of the Interim Directors, assured their members that GHAMRO is vigorously pursuing its mandate in terms of licensing music users, collecting the said fees, and distributing the same.
What triggered the court injunction
On November 29, 2021, a writ was filed at the high court by some members of the Ghana Music Right Organisation (GHAMRO), to seek an injunction on GHAMRO’s elections scheduled for December 7, 2021.
The plaintiffs, Nana Boahene (Stebo), Rev. Mensah Bonsu, Kingsley Sarpong and Gloria Dzifa Ashinyo claimed that the guidelines for the conduct of the elections introduced were against GHAMRO constitution.
The defendants are GHAMRO as 1st defendant, Abraham Nuetey Adjatey (2nd defendant) Augustina Addision (3rd), Aziz Haruna (4th), Kwabena Donkor (5th), Eric Afriyie (6th) and Seth Amponsah (7th).
The plaintiffs sought a declaration that the defendants have contravened articles 4.21, 4.8(4),6.6 (1), 6.7, 6.8 and 6.9 of the constitution of GHAMRO, a declaration that the appointment of the interim board and the subsequent appointment of the 3rd,4th,5th, 6th and 7th defendants were in contravention of the GHAMRO constitution, and an order setting aside the appointment of the interim board and the appointment of the 3rd to 6th defendants as members of the election committee for being in contravention of the constitution of GHAMRO.
They also sought a direction against the defendants to reinstate the plaintiffs as duly elected members of the election committee to continue the performance of their functions as the election committee of GHAMRO.
Again “an order directed at the 2nd defendant to properly account for his stewardship and role as chief executive officer of GHAMRO, (f) interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from conducting elections scheduled for December 7, 2021 as being in contravention of the GHAMRO constitution and (g) perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from interfering the with the performance of the functions of the plaintiffs as appointed members of the election committee.”
Why the election committee was disbanded
According to Rex Omar, the Election Committee, which comprises the aggrieved persons that took GHAMRO to court, could not hold the elections after demanding outrageous sums of money and other facilities for the elections.
“They had a different agenda. First, they did not consider themselves as a creation of the Board. So as soon as we outdoored them, they said they were not going to report to the Board. They came with their own budget. They wanted GHS 350,000. They wanted to rent an office, buy computers, buy cars to be able organise a simple election for GHAMRO.,” he said.
The ‘Abiba’ hitmaker noted that the request of the committee was rejected because they were tasked to just coordinate the election, and for the Electoral Commission to take charge of the organisation.
He said after the committee was unable to justify why after 100 days they could not organise the elections, an agreement was reached to dissolve it and set up a 5-member team to oversee the elections.
“We wanted to do the election within 30-days, but just as we were about to do the election, this old election committee brought an injunction to stop the election,”
The matter was taken to court, and it took one year for GHAMRO to put itself together to hold the elections.
Unhappy with the processes and proceedings, the disbanded committee went to court again to put another injunction on the election, which was held on March 15, 2022.
What does this new court ruling mean?
This means that the Board which was elected on March 15, 2022, cannot hold itself in such as position. It also means that Rex Omar cannot be referred to as the Chairman of the GHAMRO Board until further notice.
In the meantime, Rex will be working with the 5-member team and the management to run the organisation, pending another court hearing on August 11, 2022.