The Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) has filed a suit at the Accra High Court, seeking among other things, an order to compel three of its former executives to account for GH¢429,636.00 they transferred from the organisation’s accounts in December 2013.
The plaintiff is also praying the court for an order to compel the defendants to refund a total of GH¢55,000.00 used to purchase a Toyota V8 vehicle in 2014 and GH¢63,000.00 purportedly spent on a visit to Takoradi as well as the return of the vehicle.
The three defendants are Mr Carlos Sakyi, former chairman/acting CEO of the interim board GHAMRO, Amandzeba Nat Brew and Mr Kobbena Kwakye Kabobo, both former deputy chairpersons of the organisation.
Motionpix Photography is the other defendant in the suit.
A statement of claim accompanying the suit said between May 2011 and July 2014, Mr Sakyi, Amandzeba Nat Brew and Mr Kabobo constituted the core management team of GHAMRO and collected royalties on behalf of members of the plaintiff organisation.
It said the Human Rights Division of the High Court in Accra in July 2014 removed the three defendants, among others, from acting as the management team of the plaintiff and appointed five persons as receivers/managers to run the affairs of GHAMRO.
According to the statement, the court-appointed receivers/managers commissioned an independent audit into the financial administration of GHAMRO during the tenure of the defendants, who between 2011 and 2014 formed the core management of the plaintiff organisation.
It said the audit into the financial matters of GHAMRO revealed very significant dissipation of funds by the defendants to the detriment of members of the plaintiff organisation.
It said all effort to get the defendants to respond to the auditor’s findings of financial malfeasance had proved futile since they had failed or refused to respond to same following numerous requests.
The statement said in December 2013, the defendants transferred the sum of GH¢429,636.00 from GHAMRO’s account into other persons’ personal accounts with no stated purpose for the transfers.
According to the statement, in February 2014 the defendants issued an Agricultural Development Bank cheque 103377 on GHAMRO’s account with face value of GH¢55,000 to buy a Toyota V8 vehicle for the organisation, but the said vehicle had not been seen, in spite of the fact that they had been removed by the High Court.
It said in July 2014, including dates after the High Court, Accra (Human Rights Division) had removed the defendants, they paid GH¢51,650 to Motionpix Photography for so-called ID Cards/Anti-piracy documentary, which was never undertaken.
During the audit, Motionpix Photography admitted receiving the money and promised to refund same to the plaintiff, but had failed or refused to do so.
The statement said in February 2014, Mr C.K. Mann, a member of GHAMRO fell ill and the management of the organisation visited him in Takoradi, during which GH¢11,500 was withdrawn by the defendants for the visit.
It said the audit of expenses for the said visit based on the payment vouchers issued for the cheque withdrawals disclosed a total of GH¢7,500.
The difference between the cheque amount and payment vouchers was GH¢4,000 and no receipts were even provided for the expenditures of GH¢7,500 as stated on the payment voucher, it added.
It said during their tenure, the defendants illegally paid various sums of monies belonging to members of GHAMRO to themselves and other persons without any justifiable basis or any receipts or proper documentation to cover such payments and withdrawals.
According to the statement, during the tenure of the defendants, GHAMRO owned a Mazda car, but since they were removed from office, they had refused to surrender the car to the plaintiff.
“Unless this honourable court compels the defendants to refund the various sums, they have evinced a clear intention to deprive the plaintiff organisation of the monies belonging to its members without justification,” the statement added.