Court stops ICU elections, but allows Confab
The Eighth Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference of the Industrial and Commercial Union (ICU) slated for January 13 to 15 can commence but the Union cannot elect national officers, an Accra Fast Track High Court presided over byMr Justice Samuel Asiedu ruled on Monday.
This was after Napoleon Kpoh, General Secretary of the ICU and its National Chairman, Ahmed Salifu, had taken the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the ICU and Mr Gilbert Awinongya, Deputy Secretary in-Charge of Operations, Mr Solomon Kotei, Deputy Secretary General in charge of Administration and Mr Theophilus Tenkorang Deputy Secretary General in charge of Administration to court restraining them from holding the conference and electing new officers in Kumasi.
The plaintiffs contended that there was a pending suit against their removal from office, noting that, if the defendants were allowed to go ahead with the conference and the elections were held the relief being sought would come to a halt.
Mr Albert Adaare, who represented the defendants, prayed the court to allow his clients to go ahead with the conference because it had spent so much in preparing for it. The court in its ruling held that the conference could go ahead but ordered them not to elect officers.
Meanwhile, another Fast Track High Court has referred a similar suit to the Chief Justice to be heard at the newly created Labour Court. In that suit, two of its members are restraining the Union from holding its Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference scheduled to take place in Kumasi from January 13 to 15.
The members were praying the court for an order to suspend the conference until the final determination of a suit by them challenging the composition of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) formed to manage the union. The defendants are Gilbert Awinongya Deputy Secretary in-charge of Operations, Solomon Kotei, Deputy Secretary General in-charge of Administration, Theophilus Tenkorang Deputy Secretary General in-charge of Administration, and the IMC of the ICU.
Mr Dave Agbenu and Mr George Foster Amanor, local union executives of New Times Corporation and Polytank Ghana Limited respectively, were contending that the formation of the IMC was fraudulently done to usurp the function of the National Executive Council as well as circumvent the union’s constitution.
In the application for interlocutory injunction, the plaintiffs contend that the IMC had no right to convene the delegates’ conference.
According to the plaintiffs the IMC under whose auspices Mr Gilbert Awinongya was seeking to convene the conference and conduct elections for the various offices, was itself an illegal entity that was not also known to the Union’s constitution. They further contended that majority of the elected national officers who were at post prior to the passage of the resolution on August 2, last year had been prevented by members of the IMC from performing their constitutionally assigned roles as members of the NEC.