IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE HIGH COURT
HO - A.D 2018
THE PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATION BISHOP HERMAN COLEGE, KPANDO - (Plaintiff)
THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS BISHOP HERMAN COLLEGE, KPANDO - (Defendant)
DATE: 14 TH MAY, 2018
SUIT NO: E12/25/2018
JUDGES: ERIC BAAH JUSTICE OF THE HIGH COURT
KINGSLEY KWASITSU FOR PLAINTIFF
PATRINA DEFIA FOR DEFENDANT
(1) The plaintiffs by their motion on notice dated 16/3/18 pray the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from organizing a PTA meeting of the Bishop Herman School for the purpose of electing new PTA executive to replace them. The main contention of the plaintiffs is that the defendants have no legal basis to organise the said meeting at any period in time for the stated purpose. The defendants disagree and in turn question the locus standi of the plaintiffs in instituting this action and bringing the instant motion. Order 25 of C.I. mandates a party to bring an application for interlocutory injunction, and for the court to grant same if it considered same to be just or convenient. Order 25, C.I. 47 itself does not set out any criteria for the consideration of such an application, so it is to the common law and decided cases that we turn for assistance.
It should be noted, that being an exercise of discretionary power, judicial precedent may not strictly apply, since each case is determined on its peculiar facts and merits. However, the general guidelines are almost always adhered to. In Owusu v Owusu-Ansah [2007 – 8] SCGLR 870, the Supreme Court held that the fundamental hurdle an applicant has to surmount is to establish that he has a legal right; either at law or in equity, in the subject matter of the suit. In casu, the plaintiffs admit that having been elected on 24/3/14, their term ended on 24/3/18. They issued their writ on 16/3/18; so if their dates are taken as the truth, they instituted their action before their term expired. As of this present day however, their mandate has expired and I do not see any legal basis for the pendency of their action. The fact that they issued the action on 16/3/18 is quite irrelevant, for they well knew that their term was to expire two days thereafter. This court cannot allow them to use the legal action as a cloak to perpetuate themselves in power.
Accordingly, whether I apply the date proferred by the plaintiffs or the defendants, the plaintiffs' terms of office has elapsed and they have no locus to continue to maintain a legal action in court. In the absence of a legal right; either at law or in equity, it will be pointless for the court to grant the instant application for interlocutory injunction.
(2) I examined all the facts put up by the defendants and the submissions of their counsel and I found no legal basis for the defendants' attempt to hijack the management of the plaintiffs', body under the pretext of exercising school management power. The PTA is a voluntary association, the formation and membership is recognised by the constitution. Being a voluntary association, it is the members that have the right to manage it; including electing its officers or booting them out. The defendant could work behind the scenes with the members, but has no legal right to formally put up notices for the plaintiffs body, for the election of the executives to replace the plaintiffs. That action of the defendants was clearly illegal and unconstitutional.
(3) Having held that the plaintiffs' tenure has ended; and also that the defendants have no legal right to organise a meeting for the election of executives to replace the plaintiffs, a lacuna has been legally recognised. The plaintiffs' association has no executives to run it. The situation will adversely affect the school, the students and the development of education as a whole. This is a court of justice and I cannot sit aloof as a situation of injustice persists. I accordingly exercise my inherent powers to constitute an Interim Executive Committee (IEC) for the sole purpose of organizing elections to have executives elected to replace the plaintiffs, who are the outgone executives. The IEC will be constituted as follows:
Three members of the Board of Governors.
Two members of the Old Students/Boys Association.
Two members from the plaintiff association.
The committee shall be formed seven (7) days from today. Each group shall present its nominees to the Headmaster within Seven (7) days from today. The committee shall elect its chairman and secretary, or such officers as it deems necessary. The committee shall then work actively to organise a general PTA meeting for the purpose of electing new PTA executives' latest by the 1 June, 2018. The above decision and orders effectively disposes of the suit before me. In Interim Executive Council v Interim Executive Committee of the Apostolic Divine Church of Ghana [1984 – 86] 1 GLR 529, the Court of Appeal held, holding (2):
"There was no rule of law or practice that prevented the court in proper a case from granting on motion substantially all the reliefs claimed in the writ"
See also: In Re Bob Kwame and Co Ltd v Gyingyi v Bernard & Anor. [1989-90] 1 GLR 87, CA.
The power to grant all reliefs under a motion, necessarily incorporates the powers to dismiss the said reliefs in appropriate cases. After the above decision and orders, there is nothing pending for the court to determine. I accordingly dismiss the writ of summons issued by the plaintiffs on 16/3/18.