100 Music Right Owners sue Carlos Sekyi, others over GHAMRO cash

Ghana’s King of Highlife music, Nana Kwame Ampadu, together with about 100 composers, song writers, music producers and music rights owners, has accused Carlos Sekyi of dissipating funds of the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) collected on behalf of music right owners in Ghana.

They have therefore dragged him (Carlos Sakyi) to court to account for the monies he collected on their behalf and asked him to explain why he had remained interim chairman of the CHAMRO Board when the organization’s constitution said he shall remain in office for a maximum of two years – which elapsed in May 2013.

They claimed Mr. Sekyi, since he started collecting monies on behalf of music rights owners in 2011, had not accounted for the monies till date.

They explained that Carlos Sekyi in his capacity as interim chairman of the GHAMRO Board was mandated by law to give yearly accounts of the monies GHAMRO collected, but this was the third year running and he had not given a single account.

Some of the big names that joined Nana Ampadu in the suit include; Abrantie Amakye Dede, Rex Omar, Tic Tac, Daddy Lumba, Reggie Rockstone, Francis Gyesi, Nana Tuffuor, Castro, Samini, Grace Ashy, Nobel Nketia, and Chizzy Wailer.

According to the writ of summons, Carlos Sekyi and other GHAMRO Board members including Amandzeba Nat Brew, K.K. Babobo and Mark Okraku Mantey “have deliberately refused to organize even a single Annual General Meeting since May 2011 when they took office as interim Board Members.”

The writ of summon stated, “have been dissipating the funds of the organization to the disadvantage of the Rights Owners and have been paying themselves monthly salaries between GH2, 000 and GH4, 000, excluding other allowances, even though the regulation of the organization expressly forbids the payment of salaries.”

The suit, filed last Thursday May 15, was just a tip of the iceberg considering the mounting agitation against Carlos Sekyi and the interim GHAMRO Board.

Indeed, two of the Board Members, Rex Omar and Charles Amoah, officially resigned their positions citing similar reasons against the interim chairman.

Another Board Member, Bice Obour Kuffuor, a representative of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) on the GHAMRO Board, also recently called for reforms into the operations of GHAMRO and said there were no transparency, accountability and equitable distribution of royalties to the rights owners.

Mr. Carlos Sekyi had however remained adamant and not even an official request from the Attorney General, through the Copyright Office, could compel GHAMRO to render accounts of the monies it had collected and how they were spent.

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