GJA court issue concern to presidential aspirant – Agbenu

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Mr Dave Agbenu
Mr Dave Agbenu

Mr Dave Agbenu, a Ghana Journalists Association’s (GJA) Presidential Aspirant has said the court case against the Association on the expired term of office of its executives was a major concern.

Mr Agbenu who is a former General Secretary and an Organizer of the GJA said “the court issue is a major concern for me as a candidate and someone campaigning all over the country, it has plunged all of us into some difficulties not knowing where we are headed”.

He expressed the worry when answering questions on his take on the issue when he interacted with journalists in Tema to solicit votes ahead of the final determination of the court case which would pave way for the elections.

The GJA Executive led by Mr Roland Affail Monney was sued in May by Ms Caroline Boateng, a journalist for overstaying their term of office which was expected to end in November 2020.

She prayed the court to order for the creation of an Interim Management Committee, as well as to declare that all actions of the defendants from November 17, 2020, to the date of the suit as null and void.

Mr Agbenu said the issue could continue perpetually if care was not taken and expressed the hope that the court’s order for the exhaustion of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) internal resolution measures before returning to the court would settle the matter.

He said as an ADR practitioner, he was willing to offer his expertise to resolve the issue saying if the parties fail to reach an agreement in 30 days, the court processes would go on until its logical end which could take a lot of time.

Touching on what different he would do to shield journalists against attack, he said it was about time the GJA put all members who were practicing journalists together to handle such cases instead of leaving such issues solely in the hands of the Ghana Police Service.

During the interaction, some cameramen expressed worry at their neglect by the previous GJA executive as according to them they never received any training and scholarship opportunities even though they were the backbone of the electronic media, a situation they said was discriminatory.

The journalists also lamented on how some stringers and contract workers were treated by media owners in relations to their remuneration saying, “even state media houses are not paying their stringers, it is a very bad practice that needs to be checked if we want to get the best out of our journalists”.

Others also questioned how journalists who already belonged to a union at their workplaces could join the GJA when it is finally unionized per international practices.

Meanwhile, the filing of nominations for various executive positions for the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) ended on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, after which a court action was instituted by a member of the association.

Three filed to contest for the GJA Presidential slot, they are Mr Dave Agbenu of the New Times Corporation; Mr Gayheart Mensah, a Media Consultant and formerly of the Ghanaian Times; and Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfuor of Atinka Media Village.

Mrs Linda Asante-Agyei of the Ghana News Agency (GNA), current Vice President goes unopposed while Mrs Audrey Dekalu, also of the GNA, current Treasurer also goes unopposed.

Mr Kofi Yeboah, current General Secretary faces off with Mr Akwasi Agyeman of the Multimedia Group for the slot; Ms Mary Mensah of the Graphic Communications Group Limited and Mr Dominic Hlordze of GBC are contesting for the Organising Secretary post.

Mr Caesar Abagali of Ghana News Agency, and Mrs Rebecca Ekpe of GBC, are contesting for the Public Affairs Officer slot.

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