Suit filed against NPP leaders

ssssThree members of the largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have sued the party, the flag bearer, former President John Agyekum Kufour and 27 other stalwarts of the party, for indefinitely suspending the Chairman, Paul Afoko, for indiscipline.

The applicants are Emmanuel Tweneboah Kodua, Stephen Owusu and Joseph Oppong, all from the Ashanti Region branch of the party.

According to the affidavit in support of the motion filed before an Accra Human Rights High Court, they are seeking an interlocutory injunction to restrain the party from holding out Mr. Freddie Blay as the acting Chairman, and convening and attending meetings without Mr. Afoko being the convener of the meetings.

They are also seeking an order to restrain the defendants from taking decisions in any meeting not convened by Mr. Afoko, until the dispute is finally determined, adding that per Article 9 D of the party’s constitution, it is the National Chairman’s duty to convey a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party.

The writ stated that contrary to the party’s constitution (Article 9D), the 1st defendant, Mr. Blay had convened a NEC meeting slated for October 23, to consider a purported report of the National Disciplinary Committee on the National Chairman of the party, while the National Chairman was present, able and willing to convene same.

The plaintiffs, contend that Mr. Blay did not have the authority to convene a NEC meeting, and as such the notices convening the said meeting and subsequently holding were null and void.

They added that the Committee could give a report to the NEC when it had not finished hearing the petitions presented to it.

The writ stated that the committee had not delivered a ruling on the preliminary objections raised by the National Chairman through his lawyers, on its lack of jurisdiction to hear the petition against him adding that that through the lawyers of the National Chairman, the committee was respectfully and sufficiently informed that a ruling on the two preliminary objections was a condition precedent to considering the substantive merit of the whole petition.

It stated that while the expected delivery of a ruling on the preliminary objections was pending, Mr. Blay sent out notices for a NEC meeting to deliberate on a purported report of the committee.

The writ indicated that the expected ruling on the preliminary objections would have determined whether or not the committee had jurisdiction to deal with the merit of the petition, which would be to terminate the proceedings on grounds of lack of jurisdiction, or enter the second stage of the proceedings to consider the petition on its merit.

It further averred that the failure of the Committee to deliver the ruling was a clear negation of the laws of Ghana on the right to fair hearing, and the much professed values of the party which believed in the fundamental principle of the rule of law.

The hearing of the case is slated for November 9.

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme   

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