Veteran Highlife musician Akosua Adjepong is calling on the office of the Attorney General to close down Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) because the operations of the interim management committee are illegal.
According to her, the interim management committee with Rex Omar as Chairman was working illegally as their mandate was not backed by any law.
In an interview with Graphic Showbiz on Tuesday, May 23, the Kokooko hitmaker pointed out that the office of the Attorney General hadn’t renewed GHAMRO’s licence so those at the helm of affairs had no business running the organisation.
“The good office of the Attorney General hasn’t renewed GHAMRO’s licence due to court issues. Some of our people actually took the interim management committee to court and the judge asked them to step down for new elections to be held.
“But before that, a Mediation Board led by Madam Esi Sutherland-Addy was instituted and they asked us to do three things—amend our constitution, conduct an audit of our accounts and hold elections.
“However, as of this time, no elections have been held and we have Rex Omar and his team still manning affairs without any legal mandate. My argument is that the Interim Management or board’s licence was not renewed because we didn’t fulfil all the three requirements by the Mediation Board,” she said.
Akosua Adjepong told Graphic Showbiz that it was very disappointing for her critics to reduce her present positioning to a hate campaign against Rex Omar when she was only seeking for the right things to be done.
Although GHAMRO is a collective management organisation (CMO) and not a welfare group, it is mandated by its constitution to allocate 10 per cent of the money received as royalties to cater for the welfare of musicians.
“When I talk, people think that I’m just making empty claims and unfounded allegations but they don’t know that I’m taking my information from GHAMRO’s 2021 annual report sent to members.
“At the moment, it is required that GHAMRO uses 10 per cent of its money received as royalties for the welfare of musicians. From the 2021 report, those who are managing the fund are paid GH₵72,000 annually; yet, members in dire need don’t get assistance.
“That is not all. The same report mentioned that the interim management committee used GH₵132,000 for refreshment and sitting allowances. The committee sits four times a year.
“The report also showed that they buy new cars and computers every year. But what really intrigues me the most is that those who collect the royalties (spinners) are paid a whopping GH₵433,000 yearly. How much is the musician who is the creator of the content even paid?” she asked.
According to Akosua Adjepong, even though membership of GHAMRO was said to be 4000, there was no official list making it difficult to tell if legitimate members received their royalties.
“They claim that musicians are 4000 and I’ve asked them to get an official list of members so that we know who is receiving royalties. I’m bringing this out because I met Ambolley at a programme recently and he mentioned that he didn’t receive the last payment that came in December last year.
“Also, per the Legislative Instrument (LI), whatever money is collected, members need to know, as well as what is due us. Part of the LI says that musicians need to be paid every six months but since 2015 till date, GHAMRO does what it wants. Honestly, we don’t know the money that they share,” she added.
Akosua Adjepong said she would continue to ask the relevant questions and also called for the right things to be done since Rex Omar also demanded accountability from previous administrations when he was not happy with how they were handling the affairs of the organisation.