The New Patriotic Party (NPP) yesterday held its first National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Council (NC) meetings to affirm the suspension of the National Chairman of the party, Mr Paul Afoko.
The meetings of the NEC and the NC, which also affirmed the First Vice-Chairman, Mr Freddie Blay, as acting National Chairman, were attended by the flag bearer of the party and his running mate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia respectively.
More than 90 members out of the 120 forming the membership attended the meetings which were hailed by party supporters as successful against the backdrop of the legal wranglings between the suspended National Chairman and the First Vice Chairman about the legality of the meetings.
Dr Peter Atupare, lawyer for the suspended National Chairman, Mr Afoko, had said that the leadership of the NPP was in contempt for going ahead with the meetings yesterday despite the service of the application for injunction against the meetings.
He said as of last week, the General Secretary of the NPP, Mr Kwabena Agyepong, had confirmed that he had been served with an application for injunction.
Dr Atupare said the decisions of the NEC and the NC would be prejudicial to the case in court.
He stressed that whatever had been agreed upon would be rendered null and void.
However, the Director of Communications of the NPP, Nana Akomea, who briefed the press after the meetings, brushed aside the issue of whether the meetings were legal or not by asking aggrieved parties to go to court for the courts to determine the matter.
Amenfi West by-election
He said the issues deliberated upon included the pending by-election at Amenfi West, which the party expressed its readiness to participate in.
He also said the meetings discussed the conduct of outstanding parliamentary primaries in 10 constituencies across the country, adding that the party was trying to find amicable solutions to the challenges so that the primaries could be conducted as soon as possible.
He added the NC, which affirmed the position of the First vice-chairman as the acting national chairman, admonished supporters and members of the party to uphold the decisions of the party.
Nana Akomea said the members at the meetings were briefed about the Electoral Commission (EC) stakeholders’ forum on the voters register and that the party was still standing by its demand for new voters register.
Level of urgency
He said it seemed the EC had not treated the party’s petition with the level of urgency that was needed for an important petition from the main political party with over five million supporters, since the petition was sent to the EC in August.
He explained that since August the EC had not bothered to investigate the findings made by the NPP to enable all stakeholders to determine whether there was the need for a new voters register or not.
Mr Afoko, who was elected the NPP National Chairman after the 2012 elections, was suspended indefinitely at an emergency meeting of the NEC at the party’s headquarters at Asylum Down in Accra last week.
The NPP’s Disciplinary Committee (DC) had, on October 21, 2015, submitted a report to the NEC of the party recommending the indefinite suspension of Mr Afoko as National Chairman, citing his unilateral leadership style as a bane to the party’s progress.
At its meeting on Friday, October 23, 2015, the NEC endorsed the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee and asked the First Vice-Chair, Mr Freddie Blay, to act as National Chairman in accordance with the party’s constitution.
A spokesperson for Mr Afoko, Nana Yaw Osei, belittled the decision of the NEC and the NC saying whatever decision “the so-called committee” took was illegal.
According to Mr Osei, the DC was improperly constituted, according to the party’s constitution (Article 4 (3) (d)).
He also pointed out that the DC did not have a quorum because “one person who sat on that committee is not a member of the DC”.