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18.11.2005 Crime & Punishment

Court to rule on PROTOA case on Dec 5

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Accra, Nov. 18, GNA - An Accra High Court would on Monday, December 5, give its ruling on a writ filed against the Madina-Akuapem Branch of the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA) to perpetually restrain PROTOA from plying the Madina-Somanya route. The Madina-Odumase-Kpong-Juapong Branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) filed the suit.

After hearing the submissions of counsel on both sides on Tuesday, November 8, the presiding judge, Mrs Justice Felicity Amoah granted an application by GPRTU for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining PROTOA from plying the routes, pending the final determination of the substantive suit.

In his statement of claim, Mr Felix Quartey, counsel for GPRTU, submitted that the Madina-Odumase-Kpong-Juapong Branch of the union is a duly registered and recognised branch, which had been in charge of those routes since 1998.

Counsel further submitted that at all material times, the branch had been responsible for the discharge of its legitimate levies to the Municipal Authority as the recognised transport operator. Counsel averred that after breaking away to join PROTOA, Mr Isaac Adjei, Mr John Doku Angmo and Mr Joe Yeboah, former members of the GPRTU, unlawfully started providing service on the Madina-Somanya route, much against the interest of the GPRTU, the recognised association plying that route.

Counsel stated that when GPRTU protested, PROTOA members initially resorted to picking passengers off the streets, but later resorted to plying the route again.

Counsel contended that the activity of PROTOA was detrimental to the business interests of GPRTU and that PROTOA could ply Somanya from its registered station in Accra.

He said by their conduct, members of Madina-Akuapem branch of PROTOA had declared their intention not to stop plying the Madina-Somanya route, unless they were so restrained by a Court of competent jurisdiction.

Replying, Mr Godfred Yeboah-Odame, counsel for PROTOA, prayed the court to strike out the writ and the statement of claim because, in his view, they disclosed "no reasonable cause of action". Counsel submitted that the GPRTU was not the sole owner/operator of the private transport sector, and for that matter, it had no right to restrain sister associations from competing with it.

Mr Yeboah-Odame further submitted that the Madina-Akuapem Branch of PROTOA had no legal existence of its own, and could, therefore, not be sued as a separate entity.

Counsel, therefore, prayed the court to put the matter to rest by determining who the real user of the route in dispute was.