NPP NEC affirms Afoko’s suspension

BY: Abdul Aziz
Paul Afoko

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.

Afoko’s lawyer

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.

Background

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.

 Response

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”.