Some assigns of the suspended chairman of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), have sued former President John Kufuor, flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo and 28 other prominent members and leaders of the party over the recent indefinite suspension of the first-ever elected northern chairman of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo family.
The three plaintiffs are, through an interlocutory injunction application, aiming to declare Mr Paul Afoko’s suspension null and void, and to restrain the respondents from recognising Mr Afoko’s deputy, first Vice-Chairman Freddie Blay, as acting Chairman.
In the same vein, they are praying the court to restrain Mr Blay and the 29 other respondents, respectively, from convening and attending meetings “without the purportedly suspended chairman of the party (Chairman Afoko) being the convenor of the meetings.”
The three Ashanti Regional members – Tweneboa Kodua Emmanuel, Stephen Owusu and Joseph Oppong – also want to “restrain the defendants from taking decisions in any meeting not convened by Chairman Afoko, until this dispute is finally determined.”
By a unanimous decision at an emergency NEC meeting convened by Mr Blay on Friday, October 23, the party’s leadership upheld a recommendation by the disciplinary committee that Mr Afoko be suspended for allegedly working against the interest of the party and its flagbearer.
Present at the meeting were Bishop Asante Antwi, Chairman of the disciplinary committee; Harona Esseku, former chairman; Bugri Naabu, Northern Regional Chairman; Hackman Owusu Agyemang, a founder-member and elder; as well as Treasurer Abankwah Yeboah.
Others present include the party’s Ashanti Regional Chairman Antwi Boasiako; MPs KT Hammond and Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, as well as National Youth Organiser Sammy Awuku and National Organiser John Boadu. The meeting was chaired by Mr Blay.
Ahead of the meeting, violence erupted at the Party’s Asylum Down headquarters in Accra. The clash was between pro-Afoko vigilante group Bolga Bulldogs and the party’s private security which calls itself Invincible Forces. A taxi and a motorbike were vandalised in the skirmishes.
The pro-Afoko group insisted the northern politician was being hounded out of the NPP because he is not of Akan extraction.
The petition was first filed by the Party’s council of elders in September, after Mr Afoko refused to honour several consecutive invitations extended to him over allegations that he and General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong were sabotaging Mr Akufo-Addo’s chances in next year’s presidential election.
His aggrieved assigns, who filed the writ at the human rights court, argue that Mr Blay’s meeting contravened the NPP’s constitution (Article 9D), which permits only the chairman to convene such a meeting.
Mr Afoko’s spokesperson has also insisted in several media interviews that his boss remains in charge of the NPP.