The fate of Mr Martin Amidu, a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), hangs in the balance as some members of the party have petitioned the National Excutive Committee (NEC) of the party to punish him for his recent outbursts on events in the party.
The NDC running mate to the late Professor J.E.A. Mills in the 2000 elections has been a thorn in the flesh of the party as he consistently publicly attacked his fellow party members in the previous government accusing them of engaging in corruption.
The petitioners in a statement said Mr Amidu, a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, in his recent statements on events in the party has brought and continues to bring the NDC into disrepute and public ridicule contrary to Article 46(8) of the party’s constitution.
The petition was filed by two party members Lawyer Evans Amankwah, a 2016 Parliamentary candidate for Adansi Asokwa in the Ashanti Region, and Abigail Elorm Mensah, a 2016 Parliamentary candidate for Fanteakwa South in the Eastern Region. In the petition dated August 7, 2017, they said Mr Amidu had brought and continued to bring the NDC into disrepute and public ridicule contrary to Article 46(8) of the party’s constitution. They called for the NDC disciplinary committee to institute punitive measures against Mr Amidu and prevent him from carrying himself in ways that bring disrespect to the party.
According to the duo, Mr Amidu, “with exceptional determination and consistency and through many publications and other actions, conducted himself in a manner that has weakened party unity and cohesion contrary to article 45 of the party’s constitution.”
Their petition stressed that Mr Amidu’s posturing was “carefully designed to expose the party to public hatred, ridicule and opprobrium and to lower its reputation in Ghana and elsewhere.
The petition added: “Accordingly, we wish the Executive Committee of the Party to take steps to bring disciplinary actions against the accused. We are willing and ready to assist the Executive Committee in investigating the matters listed above further with the aim of upholding the constitution of the party.”
It added that in a media article published on or about November 15, 2016, he did call on voters to vote against the party or its presidential candidate in the 2016 general election. “We have attached a copy of the article to this petition, which article may be found at < http://www.pulse.com.gh/politics/election-2016-vote-against-mahama-martin-amidu-id5761526.html> (Last visited on August 8, 2016).
It further stated that even after the party had lost the presidential election and many of its seats in Parliament, the accused, in a media article published on or about July 29, 2017, with flagship vehemence, did launch insults and largely unsubstantiated accusation at the party’s Members of Parliament.
The petition stated that in a media article published on or about August 7, 2017, the accused again alleged that the only reason why the party’s government, former President or the leadership of the party appointed Mrs Charlotte Osei as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) was to enable the said Mrs Charlotte Osei to help rig the 2016 general election in favour of the party and its presidential and parliamentary candidates.
Rebuttal by Mr Amidu
In a rebuttal, however, Mr Amidu said he was not surprised when Mr Amankwah and his co-petitioner refused or failed to realise that the NDC’s constitution itself recognises that it is inferior to the 1992 Constitution and did not abolish the right of NDC members to exercise their supreme rights as citizens of Ghana to defend the 1992 Constitution.
Mr Amidu said the 1992 Constitution was against acts of NDC members and government and even against the NDC Constitution itself when it was inconsistent with and in contravention of the said national Constitution.
‘Surrogate’ NDC members
Mr Amidu said: “I was not surprised that the petition followed immediately after Valerie Sawyerr’s lying, incoherent, disjointed and drunken-like diatribes against former President Rawlings and me. Clearly, the John Mahama faction, their surrogates like Valerie Sawyerr and the petitioners who admit to being failed parliamentary candidates at the last elections and other mentors within the NDC think they can frighten core NDC members like myself with threats of disciplinary action. I will rather defend the 1992 Constitution than be intimidated by John Mahama, Woyome, and their surrogates’ unconstitutional petitions.’’
He maintains, he’ll not be disturbed by the unrelenting pressure from his party over his hard line against corruption and bad conduct of public officials because the country is bigger than any party.
He added: “Let those who oppose the fight against corruption in the NDC and who also dislike probity and accountability which I stand for with former President Rawlings do their worst.”
According to him, he cannot betray that cause and the 1992 Constitution out of which the NDC was born.
You cannot use NDC Constitution to gag me
“The NDC is a political party and cannot use its subordinate constitution to gag citizens from the exercise of their constitutional rights to speak against unconstitutional conduct and actions of a government even if it supported it to come to power. The Constitution recognises a President as the Executive Authority of Ghana and not a political party,” he stressed.
Amidu could be dismissed — Kofi Adams
The maximum sanction that could be meted out to Mr Amidu if found culpable, vis-à-vis a petition filed against him by two failed parliamentary candidates of the party, would be a total dismissal from the NDC, the National Organiser said.
“The highest punishment is dismissal. The punishment of dismissal can be exacted by the National Executive Committee or Congress,”
Explaining the disciplinary processes, Mr Adams said Mr Amidu would be given the chance to appear before a committee to defend himself over the allegations levelled against him.
“Based on the report they submit, a final action will be taken,” Mr Adams added.
He further indicated that the Functional Executive body of the party could review the punishment recommended if the accused is found to have violated any rules.
“…The Functional Executive or National Executive Committee can review it or they can accept it in toto,” Mr Adams said.