It is emerging that the court suit that has grounded the elections of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) since May 2021, is not unconnected with manipulations by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Whatsup News has picked up information that the litigation against the body is being remote-controlled from deep within the Jubilee House, and is purposed for the next GJA President to be a pro-government poodle.
Sources point out that the government has already achieved that with the National Media Commission whose head is like, has virtually become a government praise singer.
From information gathered from sources, the way the current legal trouble is programmed to get the court to dissolve the current GJA Executive and replace it with a caretaker interim committee made up of former GJA Presidents who would essentially bring together a group of friends of the NPP.
In May 2021, the GJA’s announcement of the opening of nominations for various positions in the Association attracted a suit from a journalist called Caroline Boateng.
Ms. Boateng had run to the High Court in Accra seeking an injunction on the processes to hold the elections, saying the mandate of the Affail Monney Administration had expired in November 2020 and therefore their continued stay in office was illegitimate.
And because the Administration’s stay in office was illegitimate, the move by its highest organ, the GJA’s National Council, to set up the Election Committee to carry out the election for new executives was illegitimate.
According to Ms. Caroline Boateng, President Affail Monney, who is the first of three Defendants in the suit ( the National Council and the Election Committee are the other two) ought to have set up an interim committee to oversee the affairs of the Association after the expiration of his tenure in 2020.
According to her, they neglected their duties for the supposed personal benefit of ensuring that they influence the next election.
But the GJA Executives have said they are doing exactly what the law requires by undertaking the processes to elect new executives and that the plaintiff’s suit is only interfering in their work.
The plaintiff prayed the court for an injunction against the election process and also a replacement of the current Council with an interim committee that will oversee the next election.
Ms. Caroline Boateng wants the Court to bring together Mrs. Gifty Afenyi Dadzie, Madam Adjoa Yeboah Afari, Mr. Ransford Tetteh and Krabral Blay Amihere to constitute the interim committee that oversees the next election.
The concern is that all of these past GJA Presidents are tagged as friends of the NPP government.
It is believed that if this committee of alleged NPP government amigos are allowed to constitute the interim committee, they will act together to get people who are pro-government to be elected into office as executives.
This will ensure that the Akufo-Addo government will have a docile and defanged journalists Association, rather than a fiery one that will keep the government on its toes, to hobnob with.
So far, the litigant has succeeded in securing the injunction and there has been an attempt at a peaceful settlement but this has not succeeded.
As the drama unfolds, the campaigns of candidates have been in limbo. Three people filed to contest for the GJA Presidential slot, they are Dave Agbenu of the New Times Corporation; Gayheart Mensah, a Media Consultant and formerly of the Ghanaian Times; and Albert Kwabena Dwumfuor of Atinka Media Village.
Linda Asante-Agyei of the Ghana News Agency (GNA), current Vice President goes unopposed while Audrey Dekalu, also of the GNA, current Treasurer also goes unopposed.
Kofi Yeboah, current General Secretary is contesting Akwasi Agyeman of the Multimedia Group for the General Secretary; Mary Mensah of the Graphic Communications Group Limited and Dominic Hlordze of GBC are contesting for the Organising Secretary post.
Lastly, Caesar Abagali of Ghana News Agency, and Rebecca Ekpe of GBC, are contesting for the Public Affairs Officer slot.