July 26, 2017
The litigating parties in the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) electoral dispute have opted for mediation to have the case settled out of court.
The decision by the parties for mediation is towards achieving an amicable and speedy resolution of the dispute to protect the integrity of the Association.
Counsel for the two sides informed the Judge, Justice Daniel Mensah, of the decision when the case was called for hearing at the Accra High Court this morning.
The parties also settled on Mr Austin Gamey, CEO of Gamey and Gamey ADR Institute as a sole mediator for the mediation exercise.
After court proceedings, sources from both sides told ADR Daily that a Pre-Mediation meeting would be held tomorrow to pave way for a full mediation session to start on Friday.
It follows admonitions from some institutions and individuals who advised the GJA to use Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms to resolve the electoral impasse that has constrained the holding of an election for national executive positions.
On June 2, 2017, the court restrained the Election Committee of the GJA from re-opening nominations for the association’s national elections, after four aspirants (Lloyd Evans, aspiring President, Kofi Yeboah, a General Secretary aspirant, Francis Kokutse, a Vice-Presidential aspirant and Vance Azu, Organising Secretary aspirant), filed an ex-parte motion challenging the re-opening of nominations.
It was the second time the association’s election process had been engulfed in controversy. The GJA election, which was supposed to be held in March this year, was first halted after Mr Lloyd Evans, and Matthew Mac Kwame, a vice presidential candidate, who were disqualified from contesting, petitioned the GJA Election Dispute Adjudication Committee (EDAC) against the decision.
Justice Mensah, at the last hearing on July 13, recommended an out of court resolution of the matter, with the conviction that, that option would be more appropriate for such a case, considering the nature of the association’s profession.
In a similar admonition, Mr Robert Sarfo Mensah, President of the Ghana National Association of ADR Practitioners, earlier in an interview with ADR Daily, advised the parties to use ADR mechanisms to settle the impasse for the benefit of the profession.
According to him, the GJA needs to save its reputation by avoiding an adversarial litigation in court, and rather use ADR to settle the matter.
He said the GJA needs to be mindful of the adverse effect of the election dispute on its image, advising that the association must resolve the misunderstandings out of court.
“The GJA cannot afford to lose its reputation through these disputes because that will have a far-reaching effect on the nation,” he said.
By: Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com