Pressure keeps mounting on Carlos Sakyi to hand over as Interim Chairman of the newly certified Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), a royalty collective society for musicians and owners of creative woks within the music industry.
News-One recently reported on a growing volatile situation among owners of copyright works within the music industry as calls on Mr. Sakyi to step down and hold elections continue to intensify, with accusations of financial impropriety being leveled against his tenure. The calls for elections to be held have received the support of the Ghana Association of Phonographic Industry (GAP). The association has issued a strongly-worded statement calling on Mr. Sakyi to render an account on the affairs of the interim board, discontinue his position as Interim Chairman of GHAMRO and hold elections within 90 days.
The GAPI statement, signed by its national chairman, Ken Opoku Aseidu, noted, “after careful consultations with our representative on the Interim GHAMRO board, GAPI wishes to recommend the following steps to be considered so as to allow for a smooth transition of power from the Interim GHAMRO board towards the election of a substantive board that will oversee the smooth running of our collective management organizations. “The term of the interim board should not exceed a period of ninety days before congress is held; the formation of two committees to oversee the elections and the revision of the draft constitution for eventual adoption by the congress on the days of the election; hiring of consultants to assist the interim board to put administrative structures in place before the handing over to the substantive board after elections and last but not least, the preparation of a statement of affairs by the ICMT for the right owners before congress.”
Deep-throat sources within the collection society said the governing board was an interim one with an unspecified tenure which a section of the board members had interpreted to mean a two-year mandate. However, another section of the board members is of the view that as long as GHAMRO now had a valid certificate to operate, it did not make sense to continue to operate on an interim board, especially when there were already accusations of malfeasance, nepotism and undercover dealings.
The disagreement is gradually getting out of hand with threats of law suits and demonstrations flying all over.
Carlos Sakyi and Rex Omar clashed over the issue during a radio discussion on Peace FM’s ‘Entertainment Review’ and their disagreement was so fierce that it generated into name-calling until Kwesi Aboagye, host of the show, had to end the programme abruptly several times.
Meanwhile, Carlos has explained that the interim board has a mandate to run the organization and should therefore be allowed to put structures in place before elections are held. Carlos, during the clash with Rex, made it clear that Ghana’s constitution allowed for freedom of association, therefore persons who were not happy with the interim style of governance were at liberty to exit.
GHAMRO recently took over from the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA). The interim board has 14 members including Kojo Antwi, Rex Omar, Mark Okraku Mantey and Nat Brew. As it stands now, any owner or a registered music work in Ghana can become a member of GHAMRO as long as that creative work is being played.
GHAMRO’s certificate to operate as a collective society in the country was approved by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice on December 23, 2011 and was officially presented to its board members at a short but impressive ceremony in Accra on Wednesday, January 18.
The certificate of operation was presented to the board members of GHAMRO, led by Carlos Sakyi, by the Registrar General of Ghana, J.K Halley, on behalf of the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu.
Under the copyright regulations, the certificate presented to GHAMRO has given the organisation the mandate to manage the music rights of music owners and also issue licenses to music users such as nightclub operators, hotels and drinking bars.
This has brought to an end the operations of the Interim Copyright Management Team (ICMT) which was put in place to manage the operations of COSGA.