An Accra Labour High Court Presided over by Justice Ananda Aikins has today adjourned hearing into the Erasmus Kwaw vs. the Ghana Olympic Committee labour dispute for Monday, 1st June due to “a back log of cases.”
Six months after concluding pleadings, the court has failed to hear the case which borders on the unlawful termination of appointment of the plaintiff Erasmus Kwaw.
At the sitting today, Erasmus Kwaw told the judge several of his colleague investigative journalists who watched the Anas Aremeyaw Anas expose on ‘corruption in the Ghanaian Judiciary’ at the annual KCK Awards in Delhi, India in 2018 have asked why his case was taking so long?
The plaintiff told the judge the undue delay in the case is not helping change perceptions about the Ghanaian judiciary in the light of Anas’ expose in 2016.
However, Justice Ananda Aikins insisted the adjournments are due to a backlog of cases at the court. She said if everything is found to be in order on 1st June, the trial could be called for within two weeks.
Accordingly, Justice Aikins ordered the parties in the case to appear before the court in June at which point she said the court would determine a new date for hearing.
Meanwhile, the defendant and their lawyers were not in court.
This is the fourth time the labour dispute has been adjourned for want of a suitable date for hearing. At its sitting on 2nd December, 2019, Justice Ananda Aikins fixed trial for 2nd March.
This came after the honourable court had failed to fix a date for hearing on 23rd October, 2019 due to what it called ‘part-heards’ after the conclusion of case management conference.
The case is seen by many to be politically sensitive due to the alleged involvement of a former Deputy Minister of Sports, a former Director-General of the National Sports Authority and other GOC officials in the visa racketeering scandal that rocked the nation in Australia in 2018.
The Plaintiff, Erasmus Kwaw, who is a sports journalist, claims his former employers ‘deliberately severed his appointment abruptly on 24th August, 2017 in order to enable them perpetrate an illegality in the media accreditation process for the 2018 Commonwealth Games which subsequently resulted in the infamous deportation of some 60 fake Ghanaian journalists from Australia.”
But in his witness statement, the GOC President denied the claim saying, the GOC was not directly involved in the media accreditation process for the Games.
Erasmus Kwaw was the Press Attaché for Ghana’s teams to the 2012 London Olympic Games, 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the 2014 African Youth Games and 2016 Rio Olympic Games during which time no visa racketeering scandals were recorded at the GOC.
It will be recalled that media reports while the Games were going on in Gold Coast 2018 flagged up that more than 60 Ghanaians had either been stranded, detained or deported from Australia by immigration authorities of Australia and transit countries like Singapore on suspicions of visa fraud.
The Ghanaians carried visas as journalists issued by various media organisations in Ghana and claimed they were due to cover their country’s team at Gold Coast 2018.