GJA dispute heads for mediation
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July 13, 2017

The Accra High Court Judge adjudicating the election litigating between the aspiring executives and current executives of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), has advised the parties to settle the case out of court.

According to Justice Daniel Mensah, after reading the affidavit from both sides, he is convinced that the matter can be settled amicably out of court.

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In that regard, Justice Mensah who gave the advice at the hearing of the case today, urged Mr Samuel Seth Wood and Mr Egbert Faibille, Counsel for the plaintiffs and respondents respectively, to see how best the case can be resolved out of court.

This was after he had adjourned the case in which Mr Lloyd Evans and three other aspiring executives are challenging the Executives and the Elections Committee for reopening nominations for the association’s national elections, to Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

The adjournment is to enable the counsel for the Defendants to respond to the supplementary affidavit of the Plaintiffs.

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 has been engulfed in a controversy. The GJA election, which was supposed to be held in March this year, was first halted after Mr Lloyd Evans, a presidential aspirant and Matthew Mac Kwame, a vice presidential candidate, who were disqualified from contesting, petitioned the GJA Election Dispute Adjudication Committee (EDAC) against the decision.

Observers consider the disputes and controversies as an indictment on the GJA and fear the situation could affect its “watchdog” role in the society if not handled properly.

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 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms to settle the impasse for the benefit of the journalists.

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

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