The Chartered Institute of Certified Tax Accountants (CICTA) has commenced an action at the Human Rights Division of the High Court to challenge the decision of the National Accreditation Board (NAB) to blacklist the institute from the list of professional bodies in the country.
Joined to the suit are the Chartered Institute of Accountants, Ghana and the Attorney General.
The CICTA contends further that the Chartered Institute of Accountants does not have the authority to act as the regulator of any professional body or institution, including that of the applicant.
AdvertisementThe NAB and the Chartered Institute of Accountants, Ghana jointly ran newspaper advertisements between July 7 and 11, 2015, with the headline: ‘Public Notice — Unaccredited Institutions’, which warned prospective students, employers and the public that CICTA did not have the legal mandate to award any academic or professional qualifications that might be accepted for purposes of academic, professional placements and progression.
In the said public notices, the NAB and the Chartered Institute of Accountants, Ghana claimed to be the only bodies accredited to give mandate for the running of accounting programmes and/or profession, respectively, in Ghana.
SuitA motion on notice for the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of CICTA filed on its behalf by its lawyer, Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr. said the Chartered Institute of Accountants did not have the authority to act as the regulator of any professional body or institution, including that of the applicant.
Among others, it is praying the court to declare that by reason of Section 1 of the Professional Bodies Registration Act, 1973, NRCD 143, the applicant is a professional body set up by an act of Parliament.
It is in addition praying the court to hold that there is no law that requires the applicant to be granted a Presidential Charter to operate.
General damagesThe applicant is seeking “an order directed at the respondents to buy space in the Daily Graphic, the Ghanaian Times, the Graphic Business, The Spectator and all other media outlets that published the defamatory publications of and about applicant retracting and apologising to applicant for the publications made of and about applicant, which have become the subject matter of this suit, within a stipulated number of days after the judgement of this Honourable Court”.
Costs and other reliefs the court might deem fit are also being sought for by the applicant.
Affidavit in supportIn an affidavit in support of the motion, CICTA averred that it was a recognised professional body registered by the Registrar of Professional Bodies of the Republic of Ghana on July 12, 2012.
It deposed that CICTA had met all legal requirements, including Gazette notification, before enrolling students.
According to the affidavit, CICTA lost credibility as a result of the publications, as its students withdrew from its courses and programmes, adding that its economic right to operate and make money for its programmes was affected as a result of the publications.
JealousyIt said all the newspapers in which the NAB and the Chartered Institute of Accountants, Ghana put out the defamatory public notices were national newspapers with wide readership locally and internationally, as well as permanent presence on the world wide web, otherwise known as the Internet.
“That the applicant contends that the said publications are defamatory of it and have caused it to lose members, as well as potential members, and that further to that the damage done to its reputation cannot be repaired easily.
“That the only reason why 2nd Respondent joined up with 1st Respondent to publish the media adverts of and about applicant is because 2nd Respondent acted out of professional jealousy and fear of the dynamic strides being made by applicant in the accounting-tax professions,” it said.