TTAG Judicial Committee passes judgement on two controversial cases

TTAG Judicial Committee 2022
TTAG Judicial Committee 2022

TTAG JC JUDGEMENT 2022

The Judicial Committee (JC) of the Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana (TTAG) has passed judgement on two controversial cases filed against the Constitutional Review Committee’s Chairman Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo and the Secretary Mr. John Baguri.

The seven-member Judicial Committee of the Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana (TTAG) led by Mr. Ernest Mesiwotso Ghoose (TTAG Chief Justice) has passed a ruling on the cases on 18th July, 2022 after thorough investigations and subsequently presented their judgement to the National Executive Council (NEC) of TTAG on 24th July, 2022 at the 26th General Assembly of the Association held at the St. Francis College of Education, Hohoe.

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On 3rd September, 2022, the National Executive Council (NEC) of TTAG met the Judicial Committee at Nhyira Hotel, Anaji in Takoradi to defend, provide education and clarifications on its ruling.

After extensive deliberations and discussions, the NEC had unanimously uphold the ruling of the JC to pave way for a new constitution for the Association.

TTAG JC’S VERDICT

The Judicial Committee, in its ruling signed by Mr. Nicholas Kelvin Agboni (JC Secretary) and Mr. Ernest Mesiwotso Ghoose (JC Chairman) has unanimously ruled that:

  1. The petitions filed against the leadership of the CRC, Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo and Mr. John Baguri is hereby quashed and therefore, the leadership are reinstated to continue their work.
  2. With reference to Articles 36(4) under which the CRC was formed, the committee is hereby directed to continue the review of the entire TTAG constitution.
  3. The leadership of the CRC was constitutionally formed and must be maintained.
  4. With reference to Article 8(2), it is unconstitutional for the 23rd GA to review the decision of Congress on membership of the CRC without following the constitutional procedures. That notwithstanding, the Committee should be maintained to continue its work since they are almost done with their task before the determination of this case.
  5. The CRC leadership must serve NEC and JC within 5 days after the date of this ruling, a final document of their work.
  6. The National Secretariat in collaboration with NEC must summon a mini Congress to promulgate the reviewed TTAG constitution before the 27th Annual National Delegates Congress of TTAG in order for the new TTAG constitution to be used to organize the next TTAG elections.

TTAG Letter of Reinstatement

The letter of reinstatement signed by Jonathan Dzunu and Sumaila Musah, the TTAG National President and General Secretary respectively said “The National Executive Council, during its third meeting, received a ruling/verdict from the Judicial Committee of our noble association on two suits against you, Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo, the Chairperson of the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) and the Secretary, Mr. John Baguri, after thorough deliberations and probing into the matter, the National Executive Council upholds the verdict of the Judicial Committee and orders your reinstatement as Chairperson and Secretary respectively.”

“Also, the National Executive Council wishes to order you to convene a meeting between the two of you and put the document together within five days of receipt of this letter i.e. 10th September, 2022 and subsequently convene another meeting among the entire membership five days after your meeting i.e. 15th September, 2022.”

Background on Sao Bernard and Dennis Adu Kwabena’s Petition 

A joint petition was filed by Mr. Sao Bernard [1st Petitioner] and Mr. Dennis Adu Kwabena [2nd Petitioner] on 12th August, 2020 invoking the original jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee (herein referred to as JC) of the Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana (herein referred to as TTAG) under Articles; 5 [Clauses 1,2,3,4 and 5], 26 and 35 of the TTAG constitution.

On 13th August, 2020, the JC issued an order of restraint to the CRC leadership, directing them to halt their activities and involvement in the Committee. The JC also directed the CRC leadership to hand over all minutes since the commencement of the activities of the CRC to the National President within 48 hours.

The Petitioners [herein referred to as Plaintiffs/Applicants] have sought to revoke the mandate and membership of the Constitutional Review Committee’s Chairman [Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo – 1st Respondent] and the Secretary [Mr. John Baguri – 2nd Respondent].

Four (4) years after the formation of the CRC, Sao Bernard and Dennis Adu Kwabena on 12th August, 2020 petitioned the Judicial Committee on the following

Statements of Claim that:

  1. “Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo on so many occasions and platform has/is openingly shown/showing and declared/declaring his stands about his partisan political party which goes against the dictates and the spirit of the TTAG constitution as far as the Article 5
    (clauses 1,2,3,4, and 5) is concern.”
  2. “Mr. Baguri John whilst in office as the TTAG National Coordinator and doubled as the Chairman of the TTAG National electoral commission for the 2015/2016 academic year misconducted himself through electoral fraud.”
  3. “Mr. Baguri John whilst in office as Chairman of the TTAG electoral commission conducted and spearheaded national elections and did not count the ballots but
    fraudulently declared some people winners.”
  4. “The action undertaken by Mr. Baguri John brought the name of TTAG into disrepute and saw countless petitions after that declarations which nearly caused disunity among the ranks and files of the Association’s members.”

The Petitioners pray the Judicial Court of TTAG to grant four (4) reliefs against the leadership of the Constitutional Review Committee (herein referred to as CRC) leadership on alleged grounds of partisan political party activities and electoral fraud if found culpable.

The reliefs sought by Petitioners are:

  1. A declaration that, “Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo who is a known partisan politician should not be allowed to draft a constitution for our non-partisan association-the TTAG.”
  2. A declaration that, “Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo should be removed from the committee and should be barred from any TTAG official duties and responsibilities indefinitely.”
  3. A declaration that, “Mr. Baguri John who chaired a fraudulent and unconstitutional election should also not be allowed to review any constitution for the Association on the grounds of lack of credibility and acting contrariwise to the TTAG constitution.”
  4. A declaration that “Since they are the leaders of the Committee, we pray your honourable court to order the said persons to submit all minutes and documents in their custody, both hard and soft copies of the CRC to the Chief Justice of the TTAG Judicial Committee before the trial commences.”

Background on Seth Effah’s Petition

Mr. Seth Effah [Petitioner] filed a petition on 12th August, 2020 invoking the original jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee (herein referred to as JC) of the Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana (herein referred to as TTAG) under Articles 34 clause 1, Article 40, schedule 1 and Article 28 of the TTAG constitution.

The Petitioner [herein referred to as Plaintiff/Applicant] is challenging the jurisdiction, activities and legitimacy of the “leadership” of the Constitutional Review Committee (herein referred to as CRC) of TTAG.

Seth Effah who is a member of the CRC petitioned the Judicial Committee on 12th August, 2020 challenging the jurisdiction, activities and legitimacy of the CRC “leadership” two years after serving on the Committee.

Seth Effah’s Statements of Claim against the Leadership of CRC

  1. The ‘leadership’ of the CRC being challenged is self-acclaimed and was not put in place by the committee nor the appointed authority.
  2. The committee has been engaging in illegalities in terms of ratification of its member’s right from its constitution till date.
  3. There is bitterness, lack of trust, and cohesion among the members of the committee and this in turn will affect the end product of the committee.
  4. The committee has over stepped its boundaries assigned to it.
  5. The committee at the 23rd General Assembly held at Pusiga was tasked to review some articles and clauses of our constitution to suit the current trends in the educational sector and other changes that might have occurred in the country but it has taken it upon itself to re-write a new constitution.
  6. The committee is causing huge financial expenses (i.e about GH₵ 20,000.00 is taken so far) from the TTAG without making any head way.
  7. The committees’ decision is always taken by ‘so-called five old members’ and have it binding on all the other members.
  8. The CRC does not have any proper guide it follows which makes the expectation of the TTAG on the committee unabated.
  9. The CRC ‘so-called leadership’ is deceiving and misleading the entire Association as well as disobeying NEC.
  10. The ‘so-called leadership’ is masterminding the removal of a member of the committee.

The Petitioner pray the Judicial Court of TTAG to grant four (4) reliefs against the CRC leadership if found culpable.

The reliefs sought by the Petitioner are:

  1. A declaration that, “the self-imposed chairman be made to refund GH₵7000.00 taken from the Association before the ratification of some of the committee’s members.”
  2. A declaration that “these two members who have arrogated to themselves such prerogatives of being leaders should be called to order.”
  3. A declaration that, “all the monies taken from the association on behalf of the committee without the consent of the committee members should be accounted for.”
  4. A declaration that, “they should be propelled to apologize in writing to the NEC.”

Background Information on the Cases 

From 25th to 28th August, 2016, the Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana (TTAG) held its 21st Annual National Delegates Congress at the Tamale Senior High School to discuss matters of interest to the Association and its membership including election of new executive officers.

The 21st Annual National Delegates Congress having observed the gradual phasing out of the TTAG constitution formed a five-member Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) under Article 36 (4) to review the current constitution.

During the 23rd General Assembly held at Gbewaa College of Education, Pusiga from 26th to 30th April, 2018, four (4) additional members were appointed to the CRC increasing the membership to nine (9).

TTAG JUDICIAL COMMITTEE’S FINDINGS

The Judicial Committee’s independent engagement and fact checks have confirmed that:

Findings on Sao Bernard and Dennis Adu Kwabena’s Petition

  1. On 13th August, 2020, the JC issued an order of restraint to the CRC leadership, directing them to halt their activities and involvement in the Committee.
  2. The Petitioners were not willing to comply with the Committee to provide evidences to support their claims that, Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo is a known partisan politician.
  3. The 2020 summary of nomination of Presidential Elections published by the Electoral Commission of Ghana captured fourteen (14) political parties in Ghana [NPP, GUM, PPP, NDC, GFP, NDP, APC, CPP, GCPP, UPP, PAP, UFP, LPG and PNC]. The Petitioners failed to tell the exact political party of the 1st Respondent to assist the Committee in its investigation.
  4. The Petitioners failed to provide evidence on a known political party of the 1st Respondent to assist the Committee in its investigation.
  5. A ruling given by the Judicial Committee dated 28th day of September, 2016 had addressed or settled the matter between the parties as reiterated in the Petitioners’ statements of claim against the 2nd
  6. The 1st Petitioner Mr. Sao Bernard told the Judicial Committee in 6 minutes 20 seconds audio that, he had once met the JC at Freeman Methodist Guest House in Kumasi, and had provided evidences the JC had requested for. Our engagements with the Mr. Adjei Kwame Nkrumah-led JC on evidences filed by the Petitioners revealed otherwise.
  7. The Petitioners’ constant sneaking and excuses were attempts to evade appearance before the JC on their own petition.

Findings on Seth Effah’s Petition

  1. A five-member CRC was formed at the 21st Annual National Delegates Congress held in Tamale. The members are Oscar Kofi Agbo, Mr. John Baguri, Mr. Akayuure Akamere Moses, Mr. Osei Kwame and Ms. Lydia Dadzie.
  2. Additional four (4) members were appointed by the 23rd General Assembly making the members of the CRC nine (9). The four (4) members are Seth Effah, Mr. Patrick Antwi Karikari, Mr. Iddrissu Mohammed and Mr. Victus Nangkuu.
  3. In exception of Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo who was present and sworn in at Congress by the then National Coordinator, all other members of the CRC were not present at the Congress sitting where the Committee’s chairman was sworn in but, were subsequently sworn in at the 23rd General Assembly held at Gbewaa College of Education, Pusiga.
  4. John Baguri was unanimously elected by the members of the CRC at its first meeting held at Freeman Methodist Guest House, Kumasi on 30th March, 2018. That notwithstanding, the chairman of the CRC – Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo failed to officially inform the Secretariat on John Baguri’s election.
  5. Even though, the 21st Annual National Delegates Congress conferred the CRC chairmanship on Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo, the Committee members reaffirmed his chairmanship at the same meeting.
  6. The claim that, the leadership of the CRC is “self-acclaimed” and was not put in place by the Committee, neither the appointing authority is inaccurate.
  7. The Petitioner, who is a member of the CRC has failed to justify his 2nd and 3rd statements of claim. That notwithstanding, our findings revealed otherwise.
  8. Though the Petitioner Mr. Seth Effah failed to justify his 4th and 5th claims, the Committee investigated and findings revealed that, no specific Articles and Clauses of the TTAG constitution were proposed for review. Rather, the Committee was formed to review the entire constitution to suit the current trends in the educational sector and other changes that might have occurred in the country. This is upheld by Article 36 (4) of TTAG constitution.
  9. The 2017/2018 NEC had approved an amount of GH¢8,408.00 of the CRC budget for commencement of its work.
  10. An amount of GH¢7,000.00 out of the approved budget was released to CRC in tranches. The Financial Statement of the 2017/2018 TTAG administration has confirmed a payment of GH¢7,030 with GH¢30 as service charge.
  11. Agreement was reached between CRC leadership and financial managers of TTAG and payment was made into the CRC Chairman’s account for payment of transport fares, feeding, accommodation and stationaries.
  12. Disbursement of GH¢4,000.00 was made into the Chairman’s ADB account and GH¢3,000.00 into his MTN mobile money account for same purpose.
  13. The GH¢7,030 payment was made before the addition of the four (4) new CRC members.
  14. The five-member CRC had four sessions [3 meetings in each session], making a total of 12 meetings to review the constitution.
  15. The first and second sessions of the CRC sittings were fully funded by the Association that made the CRC to officially start work on 30th March, 2018, two years after its formation due to the Association’s inability to finance the Committee.
  16. The third session of the CRC sitting was partially funded by the Association. The remaining portion was funded by the Committee members.
  17. There was zero funding for the fourth sitting of the CRC. In this regard, the Chairman of the CRC offered his two-bedroom apartment in Suhum in the Eastern Region as a provision of accommodation and cater for the CRC members to steadily progress with its task.
  18. The CRC members paid their own transport for the fourth session.
  19. The Association invited the CRC to all subsequent General Assembly meetings and Congresses of the TTAG in connection with their work of which they honoured. But the Association failed to pay their transport fares, neither were the CRC members given any honoraria.
  20. The Chairman of the CRC, Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo had his apartment ransacked with most of his valuables stolen when he, together with other CRC members honoured the Association’s invitation to the 23rd Annual National Delegates Congress held in Ada, an occurrence which demands that he is indemnified.
  21. Allegations/claims that, the committee is causing huge financial expenses without any headway is not accurate. The restrained leadership of the CRC presented a printed copy of their work to JC which confirmed that, they are almost done with the review of the constitution.
  22. The 2019/2020 NEC made additional expenses on the CRC to finish its work. Records on such expenses were not made available at the TTAG Secretariat.
  23. The nine-member CRC had its first face-to-face meeting from 31st July, 2020 to 2nd August, 2020 at Freeman Methodist Guest House, Kumasi to brief the four (4) new members on progress of work by the old five-member Committee.
  24. After the leadership of the CRC was restrained, some of the CRC members met.
  25. Patrick Antwi Karikari and Mr. Iddrissu Mohammed are serving as acting CRC chairman and CRC secretary respectively. That notwithstanding, the committee did not officially inform the TTAG Secretariat on the acting leaders of the CRC.
  26. Some of the CRC members restrained themselves from activities of the Committee pending JC’s ruling on cases filed against the CRC leadership in solidarity with them.
  27. Some of the CRC members have no knowledge on Mr. Patrick Antwi Karikari and Mr. Iddrissu Mohammed as acting leaders of the Committee since they have restrained themselves from the CRC activities pending JC’s ruling on the leadership.
  28. There are no records made available to substantiate the claims that, decisions were always made by the “so-called five old members” of the CRC and it has its binding on all other members. Our further checks on communications among CRC members on its official WhatsApp platform before the petitions and order of restraint have revealed that, the Petitioner and other members have been part of decision making.
  29. The Petitioner’s 8th and 9th claims/allegations are inaccurate because, findings confirmed that rules, regulations and laid down procedures were put in place by the CRC to guide its work before the petitions and order of restraint against its leadership.
  30. There is conflict of interest between CRC and JC since some members serve on both Committees.
  31. The Association lacks proper records keeping, especially financial records of TTAG.

The Independent Judicial Committee of TTAG has therefore quashed the petitions filed against the leadership of the CRC, Mr. Oscar Kofi Agbo and Mr. John Baguri and ordered for an immediate reinstatement of the CRC leadership to continue their work.

The National Executive Council of the TTAG having established facts in the JC’s ruling upholds the judgement and reinstated the CRC leadership.

Read the full judgement of TTAG JC below. 

SOURCE: Coverghana.com.gh

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