New GJA President Albert Kwabena Dwumfour (right) and the former President Roland Affail Monnie
New GJA President Albert Kwabena Dwumfour (right) and the former President Roland Affail Monnie

The plaintiff in the case involving the current Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) President, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour and the former President Roland Affail Monnie, has served a writ via substituted service to the defendants.

Court bailiffs posted the writ on the GJA premises as well as Atinka media village on Friday, following a directive by the court for the plaintiff, Justice Lee Adoboe to serve the defendants the writ via substituted service.

The High Court on Friday, 22 July 2022, ordered that the former President of the GJA, the current President and the GJA be served, the writ via substituted service.

The court directed that the processes be posted at “the 1st Defendant address, which is Ghana Journalists Association, Press Centre, Abdul Nasser Avenue, Ringway Estates, Accra and on “the Notice Board of the High Court, Accra General Jurisdiction.”

It is further ordered that “a copy of the Order for Substituted Service shall be posted as well as Hearing Notice for the motion for Interlocutory Injunction.”

Journalist Adoboe filed an injunction suit against the swearing-in of Albert Dwumfuor as GJA president following allegations of bribery levelled against him in the lead-up to the polls.

Mr Adoboe wanted those allegations investigated first before the swearing-in.

Mr Adoboe is praying the court to, among others, declare that the “offer of cash, favours, and/or incentives by the 3rd defendant [Mr Dwumfour] and Samuel Amoh Tobin, to members of 1st defendant association in the Western Region, constitutes an electoral malpractice under article 52 of the GJA constitution”.

About a week before the election, The Fourth Estate reported that a member of the GJA in the Western Region, Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu, petitioned the election committee of the association to investigate and act on the conduct of Mr Dwunfuor, who was one of the three contestants for the presidency. The other two GJA presidential contestants were the editor of The Ghanaian Times, Dave Agbenu; and a journalist and communications consultant, Gayheart Mensah).

In the petition, Mr Aklorbortu alleged that Mr Dwumfour “with tacit support from the Chairman of Tobinco Group of Company, Mr Amoh Tobbin, offered members of the GJA in good standing, [at a meeting], in addition to the buffet, an amount ¢500 (sic)to vote for Mr Albert Dwumfour.”

The petitioner further alleged that “Mr Amoh Tobbin, in the said meeting at the Atlantic Hotel in Takoradi, told journalists to vote for Mr Dwumfour in order to protect and promote his business.

“He said during the previous administration, his business suffered under Mr Opuni and that he used the media to protect his interest. Therefore, voting for Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfour to become the GJA President will mean protection for his business interest.”

Mr Tobbin is heard in the video saying if it were a political thing, he would ask, “Should I give a TV [set] or this or that?” which was greeted with laughter from the journalists present at the meeting.

“I will be of help because I’m in the industry and more so, I’m a businessman. So, I’ll need you tomorrow. If you come tomorrow after voting for him and I turn you down, Tobinco is a household name. Who knows tomorrow?” he said.

“I’m not a politician, who will say it and just go away. I’m a businessman. I’m in a lot of businesses. So do him [pointing to Albert Dwumfour] a favour. Do me a favour by bringing him. When you bring him… why I want you to bring him on board is to support my business as well. He’s my corporate person. He does all my social [activities],” he told the journalists.

The petitioner says the actions of Mr Dwumfour contravene “Article 52 (b) (c) and (d) GJA constitution 2004. It states ‘52 (b) it shall be an election offence for any candidate to directly or indirectly offer cash, favours, any incentives, or apply threats with the intention to influence the election results. (c) Any candidate found contravening the provisions of Article 52 (b) shall be disqualified after due investigation by the elections committee and (d) if found guilty, the candidate shall be barred from standing for any GJA elections for the next two (2) subsequent general elections.’”

The first hearing of the suit is slated for August 22.