The suspension of Dr Wereko-Brobby, popularly known as ‘Tarzan’, was approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party at its meeting last Friday.he New Patriotic Party (NPP) has suspended Dr Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby, a founder member, from the party after it had absorbed months of spiralling criticisms from him.
A deputy Communications Director of the NPP, Mr Curtis Perry Okudjeto, confirmed the suspension to the Daily Graphic yesterday, explaining that the NEC had cited breaches of the party’s constitution as a basis for the suspension.
He said the NEC had referred the matter to the Disciplinary Committee (DC) for further action.
However, Dr Wereko-Brobby told the Daily Graphic in a separate interview that he had not been duly informed of any suspension, as the NPP constitution stipulated, for which reason “I reject all that as crap”.
“It’s all part of the illogical nonsense that has overcome the party,” he remarked.
Although a founder member of the NPP, Dr Wereko-Brobby has been a strong and fearless critic of the party since its birth in 1992.
Following some internal party disagreement, he parted company with the NPP to form the United Ghana Movement (UGM), whose flag he bore to contest the general election in 1996.
But after his unsuccessful bid, he returned to the fold of the NPP and maintained his critical stance on pertinent party issues.
Ever since the NPP declared its intention to contest the 2012 presidential election results in court, Dr Wereko-Brobby has remained a sharp thorn in its flesh, unleashing pot-shots at the petitioners for pursuing a cause which he believed could have been avoided in the first instance.
The last straw that must have broken the camel’s back was a statement he issued last week in which he extolled the testimony of the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, at the Supreme Court as “masterful”.
He, however, criticised the testimony of the NPP’s running mate in the 2012 presidential election, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, as “clueless” in respect of the “hows and whereofs” of running elections in Ghana.
That criticism must have sounded very distasteful to some members of the NPP, and according to Mr Okudjeto, the NEC had taken a serious view of Dr Wereko-Brobby’s criticisms, describing them as an affront to the party’s constitution.
He said the NPP constitution required members to promote the good image of the party at all times, but Dr Wereko-Brobby’s conduct was to the contrary.
Mr Okudjeto could not immediately provide the specific provision in the NPP constitution invoked by the NEC for Dr Wereko-Brobby’s suspension, but reference to the constitution on the party’s website – www.newpatrioticparty.org – provides, in Article 3 (D), that, “A member shall (i) Protect and promote the good image of the party”.
Asked whether the NEC or the party had officially communicated the suspension to Dr Wereko-Brobby, Mr Okudjeto responded in the negative and explained that the DC, headed by Rev Prof Asante Antwi, would do so from today.
Article 3 (F) (1) of the NPP constitution provides: “A member may be suspended from membership of the party, or holding any office in the party, pending an enquiry into his or her conduct by a Disciplinary Committee.”
It further provides in Article 3 (F) (2): “Any decision to suspend a member shall not be taken unless the nature of the complaint has been communicated to the member in writing, and disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against such member.”
Responding, Dr Wereko-Brobby insisted: “I have heard nothing and recognise nothing about any purported decision by the NPP to suspend my membership of the party.”
He said his submission was founded on the processes set out in the NPP constitution in Article 4 (a), which provides: “A Disciplinary Committee shall: (i) investigate complaints concerning the misconduct of a member; (ii) make a full, faithful; and impartial inquiry into any complaint referred to it; (iii) report in writing the results of inquiry and the reasons leading to conclusions reached; (iv) make recommendations to the Executive Committee based on the results of the inquiry.”
Article 4 (b) further provides: “The Executive Committee shall, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the recommendation of a Disciplinary Committee, adopt, modify or reject same and shall communicate its recommendations and the reasons leading thereto in writing to the affected parties.”
“There is no provision in the NPP constitution of pronouncing guilt before evidence has been adduced to established culpability. Neither is there any place for custodial preventive detention or remand in prison during the real proceedings against the accused member,” Dr Wereko-Brobby submitted.
He said the NPP General Secretary, Mr Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, was on record to have said that he (Wereko-Brobby) was not a member of the NPP and, therefore, wondered why the party should seek to suspend someone who was not a member.
Dr Wereko-Brobby said it was ironical for a party seeking justice and redress from the highest legal body of the land to act “unlawfully and capriciously in its apparent suspension of my membership of the party”.
“With such careless disregard for the tenets of the very rule of law that it is seeking redress from its electoral defeat, all I can say to my brothers and sisters in the NPP is that I may consider a voluntary divorce from the party, and if I do, will send them, in the words of Grouch Marx, one of the greatest stars of the Silent Film Era: ‘Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member’,” he said.
Story: Kofi Yeboah