The suspended Second National Vice-Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Sammy Crabbe, has filed an application at the High Court for a judicial review to quash his suspension.
He has described his suspension by the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) of the party as procedurally irregular and breaching the rules of natural justice and wants the Human Rights Division of the court to revoke that decision.
According to the applicant, the committee acted in excess of its jurisdiction when it suspended him on December 10, 2015, following a petition filed by two persons.
A statement of case accompanying the application filed on the applicant’s behalf by his lawyer, Mr Ekow S. Ampah Korsah, said by virtue of the fact that the disciplinary committee was improperly constituted, the entire proceedings were void and invalid.
It said the other legal error apparent on the face of the record could be found under Article 10 of the NPP Constitution, which deals with the removal and suspension of elected officers from the level of constituency, regional and national officers.
Procedure for removal
According to the statement, the procedure for the removal of a national officer was 40 per cent of the delegates that elected such a national officer to give written notice to the national council demanding the removal of any elected officer.
Upon receipt of the notice, it said, the national council shall circulate the notice.
“It is provided further that within one month of the circulation of the notice; and since this case relates to an elected national officer, the national council shall summon an extraordinary delegates conference to deliberate and decide on the matter”
“It is worthy of note that the petition calling for the applicant’s removal from office was not sent to the national council at all but rather to the National Disciplinary Committee directly.
“By the provision of Article 10 (4), it is only upon the receipt of the written notice that a national elected officer can be suspended,” it added, pointing out that the applicant was “an elected national officer and, therefore, could be suspended only pending the holding of an extraordinary delegates conference to consider whether he should be removed from office”.
The statement held that since there was no written notice for his removal from office, in consonance with Article 10 (4) of the NPP Constitution, the disciplinary committee lacked jurisdiction to have recommended the applicant’s suspension.
The national executive committee, it said, lacked the jurisdiction to have affirmed the decision suspending the applicant and, worse of all, “indefinitely”.
Hearing of the motion will be moved on January 27, 2016.
Mr Crabbe was suspended after two members of the party, Mr Boye Laryea and Ms Gladys Tsotso Mann-Dedey, filed a complaint against him for allegedly uttering words in the media that had the potential to bring the party into disrepute.
He was vociferous in his criticism of the suspension of the national chairman and the general secretary of the NPP.
He also stated that he could not work with the executives who were appointed to act in the stead of the national chairman and the general secretary.
These, among other issues, according to the petitioners, were enough for Mr Crabbe to be removed from office as Second National Vice-Chairman of the NPP.