The Accra High Court has refused to reinstate Paul Afoko who was suspended last year as the chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
According to the court, the party’s National Executive Committee acted lawfully by adopting the recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee to suspend Mr Afoko.
Per Monday’s judgement, Mr Afoko remains suspended as chairman of the party as the court did not find any breaches of the party’s constitution as argued by Mr Afoko in his suit at the court.
Mr Afoko was suspended indefinitely in a unanimous vote by the Party’s National Executive Committee on October 23, 2015 at the back of a demand made by the National Council of Elders of the party in September.
But in October 2015, he filed a suit at the Court challenging his suspension. He had sought his reinstatement grounding his argument on claims that his suspension was procedurally wrong per the party’s constitution.
NPP acted lawfully
But the court presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah held otherwise on the basis that the procedure adopted by the party was fair and lawful.
According to the court, Mr Afoko and his legal team failed to adduce evidence to support the claim that the decision by the party’s NEC was procedurally wrong and unconstitutional as alleged in the statement of case.
Mr. Afoko suspension received backlash from the ranks and file of the party, with some describing it as unconstitutional, in view of the NEC meeting at which the decision was taken.
Mr Paul Afoko had prior to that been criticized for making public comments on the party’s finances, a practice some party officials said was against laid down rules.
In a letter, the NEC demanded “a thorough investigation into the actions of the National Chairman which clearly constitutes a breach of the party’s constitution, an appropriate recommendation to promote discipline, order, harmony and progress in the party towards the 2016 polls, and at least a suspension of Chairman Afoko from office until after the 2016 elections.”
But Mr Afoko challenged the events that culminated in his suspension maintaining that the party erred in taking the said decision.
Mr Afoko argued in his statement of case that he was the National Chairman of the NPP, having been duly elected by an overwhelming majority of votes at a national delegates’ congress of the NPP in Tamale in 2014.
He said the NPP is a political party duly registered under the relevant laws of Ghana after satisfying all the requirements imposed on political parties by both the 1992 Constitution and the Political Parties Act.
According to him, the Mr Blay was the first National Vice Chairman of the first defendant having been duly elected into office by majority of votes at the national delegates’ congress of the party in Tamale in 2014.
“I swore an oath at the Tamale National Delegates Congress to defend and uphold the constitution of the party to over 5,000 party delegates, members and supporters and this is exactly what I intend to do,” he explained as the rationale behind his suit.
He had said: “I am not doing this for Paul Afoko but to ensure that the constitutional principles of the party are upheld and the sanctity of the party maintained for its current and future growth.”
By:Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana