Court orders Carlos Sakyi, GHAMRO board to step aside

imagesThe Human Rights Court has ordered the board of the Ghana Music Right Organization (GHAMRO) headed by Carlos Sakyi, to step aside.

The ruling follows an action by 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.

“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 99 musicians who brought the action include, Nana Kwaku Duah (Tic Tac), Daniel Amakye Dede, Rex Omar Owusu Marfo, Charles Kwadwo Fosu (Daddy Lumba), Reginald Rockstone Ossei (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.

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 board 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 Friday.

Ahmed Banda (Bandex) told after the ruling that the court asked that “the board should step aside …because we are operating illegally. It’s unconstitutional for us to be there. I never knew until today that we [are] supposed to operate for 18 months, step aside, then elect a permanent board for them to run the affairs.”

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.

With the exception of Mark Okraku Mantey, all the 12-member board of GHAMRO were present in court Friday.


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