An Accra Human Rights High Court on Friday adjourned a case involving legendary hi-life musician, Nana Kwame Ampadu and 100 musicians who have sued Ghana Music Right Organization (GHAMRO) board to Friday, June 27.
Nana Kwame Ampadu and the 100 musicians, composers, song writers, music producers and music rights owners have accused Carlos Sakyi, Chairman of GHAMRO and the GHAMRO board 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.
“Carlos Sakyi, Amandzeba, K.K. Kabobo and Mark Okraku Mantey have been dissipating the funds of the organization to the disadvantage of the Rights Owners and have been paying themselves monthly salaries between GH¢2,000 and GH¢4,000, excluding other allowances, even though the regulation of the organization expressly forbids the payment of salaries,” the writ added.
The 100 musicians include, Nana Kwaku Duah (Tic Tac), Daniel Amakye Dede, Rex Omar Owusu Marfo, Charles Kwadwo Fosu (Daddy Lumba), Reginald Rockstone Osei (Reggie Rockstone), Edward Nana Opoku (Hammer), Emmanuel Samini, Emmanuel Botwe (Kwaw Kese), Alfred Benjamin Crentsil, Theophilus Tagoe (Castro), Belinda Ekua Amoah (Mzbel), and Nana Tuffour.
First court appearance:
Counsel for the plaintiffs, Garry Nemako, during their first appearance in court on June 2, asked the court, presided over by Justice Essel Mensah, to place an interlocutory injunction on the GHAMRO board from holding themselves as the board of the organization since their term has elapsed.
According to him, the interim board members assumed office in May 2011 and were supposed to be in office for two years after which GHAMRO was to elect a permanent board through a general meeting.
Garry Nemako noted that the interim board has not fulfilled the requirement of electing a permanent board, they have not organized a single Annual General Meeting (AGM), and they have also failed to render accounts since the Attorney General licensed GHAMRO on December 23, 2011 to collect money on behalf of music rights owners.
The trial judge, Justice Essel Mensah stated that the plaintiff must sue the 12-member board and not only four – Carlos Sakyi Amandzeba Nat Brew, K.K. Kabobo and Mark Okraku Mantey – of the board members because if the board must go, everybody must go with them.
He therefore urged that other members of the board – Kojo Antwi, John Mensah Sarpong, Akwesi Agyepong, Ahmed Banda (Bandex), Bice Osei Kuffour (Obour), Daniel Adjei (Dan Ray), Abebe Kakraba, and Mary Ghansah – should be given the opportunity to also defend themselves in court. He ruled that interest of justice, all members of the interim board must be made parties to the suit.
Second appearance June 20:
Lawyer Pappoe Robert and Evans Amakwah represented GHAMRO, Carlos Sakyi, Amandzeba Nat Brew, K.K. Kabobo, Mark Okraku Mantey, John Mensah Sarpong, Akwesi Agyepong, Daniel Adjei (Dan Ray), and Abebe Kakraba in court Friday while Ace Ankomah represented Bice Osei Kuffour (Obour), Kojo Antwi, Ahmed Banda (Bandex), and Mary Ghansah.
Lawyer Pappoe Robert informed the court that per the ruling at the first appearance, the other defendants have filed an affricative in support of the injunction. However, he said, Ace Ankomah, counsel for four of the defendants – Bice Osei Kuffour, Kojo Antwi, Ahmed Banda, and Mary Ghansah – had made certain amendments that his (Pappoe Robert’s) clients need to respond. He said they were only served on Wednesday and therefore did not have ample time to prepare for the case.
He therefore pleaded with the court to give his clients time to do that which the judge agreed.
Justice Essel Mensah who also claimed he had not “seen” documents filed by Ace Ankomah, adjourned the case to Friday, June 27.