GHAMRO saga: Carlos Sakyi begs court to vacate its injunction

The embattled Chairman of the Ghana Music Right Organization (GHAMRO) board, Carlos Sakyi Tuesday filed an application at the Human Rights Court to vacate an injunction it placed on the board.

The Human Rights Court, presided over by Justice Essel Mensah, on July 11 ordered the board of the GHAMRO to step aside.

The Human Rights Court made the ruling following an action by legendary musician Nana Kwame Ampadu and the 99 musicians, composers, song writers, music producers and music rights owners accusing Carlos Sakyi, Chairman of GHAMRO, of embezzling funds collected on behalf of music rights owners in Ghana.

They filed the suit on Thursday, May 15, 2014. According to the writ of summons, Carlos Sakyi and other GHAMRO Board members including Amandzeba Nat Brew, K.K. Kabobo 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 12-member GHAMRO board also includes, Kojo Antwi, John Mensah Sarpong, Akwesi Agyepong, Ahmed Banda (Bandex), Bice Osei Kuffour (Obour), Daniel Adjei (Dan Ray), Abebe Kakraba, and Mary Ghansah

During the first hearing on June 2, counsel for the plaintiffs, Gary Nimako Marfo asked the court, presided over by Justice Essel Mensah, to place an interlocutory injunction on the GHAMRO restraining the board members from holding themselves as the board of the organization since their term has elapsed.

According to him, the interim board assumed office in May 2011 and was supposed to be in office for two years after which GHAMRO was to elect a permanent board through a general meeting. The court agreed and granted the reliefs of the plaintiffs.

The court said a new interim board, made up of Enoch Agyepong (a publisher), Nana Aboagye Dacosta (composer), and (Kwame Nsiah Apau – Okyeame Kwame (performer) should take over. The Attorney General’s Department and the Copyright Office are also to nominate one person each to the interim GHAMRO board.

The board will operate for six months to ensure that structures are put in place for proper elections to be conducted to elect a permanent board for GHAMRO.

During Tuesday, July 22 appearance, Pappoe Robert, counsel for the respondents – Carlos Sakyi, Amandzeba Nat Brew, K.K. Kabobo, and Mark Okraku Mantey – filed two separate applications – one seeking the court to vacate the ruling and the other seeking a stay of execution.

The judge, Justice Essel Mensah, said Counsel for the respondents can only appeal the case and not to ask the court to vacate its ruling. According to the judge, the interlocutory injunction is not an executory order and therefore cannot be stayed.

Hearing has nevertheless been fixed for Friday, July 25. Story by Ghana | | Ernest Dela Aglanu (Twitter: @delaXdela / Instagram: citizendela)

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