The court described as lawful, just and fair, the procedure through which he (Afoko) was suspended.
It added that the plaintiff failed in adducing the necessary evidence to support the grounds of his five reliefs and as a result, the court entered judgement in favour of the party.
Speaking to The Ghanaian Times later, Nana Yaw Osei, spokesperson for Mr. Afoko, said they disagreed with some aspects of the judgement, but would wait to peruse it and later file an appeal.
Delivering its judgement, the court, presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah, said it considered some aspects of the case in a memorandum of issues, in resolving the matter.
The court said it considered whether or not the Disciplinary Committee had jurisdiction in suspending Mr. Afoko, and whether or not the inclusion of Gifty Kusi, Alhaji Abdul Rahman, Professor Mike Oquaye and Madam Ama Busia on the committee was constitutional or had a likelihood of bias.
On the jurisdiction, the court said two members of the party lodged separate complaints against the chairman in a petition on the grounds of misconduct, which was investigated by the National Disciplinary Committee, which forwarded its recommendation to the National Executive Committee (NEC), for endorsement.
The judge stated that Article 4 (3) (c) of NPP’s constitution provides that the Disciplinary Committee shall have jurisdiction on all matters of indiscipline affecting the party. In this regard, they will investigate and forward their recommendation, which includes, suspension and expulsion to the NEC.
Following this, he said there was no breach of any provision in the constitution.
On Gifty Kusi, the court said the constitution of the party provides for representatives of specialised groups to committees and with this, the Parliamentary Committee which was a specialised group replaced Mr. William Boafo with Gifty Kusi, adding that the party’s constitution does not stipulate that the National Chairman should approve of her membership and a swearing-in ceremony.
On Alhaji Rahman, who the plaintiff contested that he missed two sittings, and that there was a likelihood of bias, the Judge said, Mr. Afoko in his witness statement and oral evidence did not say anything about the alleged bias of some of the committee members, which meant he had no evidence or decided to leave that aspect of the case, as a result, their membership to the Committee was constitutional and not in doubt.
Justice Yeboah said the plaintiff’s contention that his suspension letter did not state reasons for his suspension and the failure of the Disciplinary Committee to submit its recommendation to the NEC within 21 days as enshrined, amounted to an unconstitutionality and cannot be accepted.
He said the court held the view that though the Committee did not meet the 21 days as avowed by the constitution, there are no sanctions prescribed in the constitution of the NPP.
The Judge said that some judges would uphold the case of the plaintiff in such circumstance, thereby nullify the whole action taken, but he (Mr. Anthony Yeboah) would disagree.
This, he said amounted to a delay, however, the plaintiff could not prove that it resulted into a miscarriage of justice.
Consequently, the judge stated that the decision of the party on Mr. Afoko’s suspension remained indefinite.
Mr. Paul Afoko was suspended indefinitely by the party in October after NPP’s Disciplinary Committee recommended his suspension following a petition filed by two members of the party.
The recommendation was unanimously endorsed by the NPP National Executive Committee on October 23 and Freddy Blay was made to act in his stead, a statement issued by the party said.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme