The New Patriotic Party (NPP), has resorted to pleading with its suspended National Chairman, Paul Afoko, to rescind his decision to appeal against a Human Rights Court’s ruling upholding his suspension, giving the impression the Court of Appeal judges, might see merit in his case and quash the lower court’s strange decision.
From the NPP lawyer who handled the case on behalf of the party; Godfred Dame, Northern Regional NPP Chairman, Daniel Bugri Naabu, Mustapha Hamid, Spokesperson for NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, have separately admonished suspended national chairman not to go to the Appeals Court to aid his readmission into the party he so much loved, assaulted for and spent fortunes on.
A Human Rights Court in Accra on Monday, dismissed a suit filed by Mr. Afoko challenging his suspension after a grueling trial in which some of the NPP witnesses, including C.K Tedem, were describing as miserable in the dock under intense cross-examination.
Afoko, remains the most vilified political figure in recent memory, especially by members from within his own party through a grand scheme that operated to please the flagbearer.
He was attacked publicly, called a criminal, an illicit drug dealer, a homosexual among other unkind words by loyalists of the flagbearer.
Shortly after the judgment, Mr. Afoko’s defiant lawyers, indicated they would appeal against the judgment. They had argued that their client’s suspension was illegal and a breach of the NPP Constitution.
But Justice Anthony Yeboah, delivering his judgment stated that Afoko’s lawyers, failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove their case that the procedure used to suspend Mr. Afoko was unlawful and unfair.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson; Nana Yaw Osei, said “lawyers for Mr. Afoko will carefully study the judgment and launch an appeal against the decision at the appropriate time.”
But Godfred Dame, expressed concerns over Mr. Afoko’s decision to appeal, describing it as worrying.
Mr. Dame said, although he does not have any qualms about Afoko’s decision to appeal, he believes it is unnecessary. “I do not have any qualms or whatsoever about the fight not being over. As far as I am concerned, the suspension of Mr. Afoko has been declared lawful by the High Court. Now a greater burden is on him to convince the court of appeal about the irregularities of the decision taken today. This indication by Mr. Afoko is very worrying. It is very worrying…”
He wondered why Mr Afoko, will “act contrary to the spirit of unity peace and reconciliation shown by the party by going a further up to the appeal process.”
Mr. Dame, had said the Human Rights Court’s verdict on Mr. Afoko vindicates the party, arguing that the court’s ruling, shows that the NPP did no wrong by suspending him.
Speaking to Journalists after the judgment, Godfred Dame, described the suit as an “unnecessary distraction.” “I think this case was unnecessary distraction. It was clearly part of the efforts by some people to undermine the campaign”
He further emphasized the need for the party to be united ahead of the December polls, saying “I don’t think anybody at all can fight it. As I indicated today that, there ought to be reconciliation.”
The Northern Regional Chairman, Daniel Bugri Naabu, admonished suspended national chairman, to render an unqualified apology to the party over his failed lawsuit.
In a Citi News interview, Bugri Naabu, hailed the judgment and asked Mr. Afoko to apologize to the party’s hierarchy. He said, the former NPP national Chairman’s lawsuit was needless and insists he should apologize for his conduct.
“We welcome what the court has done and that is the right decision. He took to the court and the court has demonstrated the right decision. He should apologize to the hierarchy of the party because the path he took was too bad.”
Bugri Naabu, however, advocated Paul Afoko’s return to the NPP, where he politically belongs, saying, and we believe that Paul Afoko, will come back. He is an NPP, no doubt. He is our brother, a northerner and we want him. We will welcome him and so he should come back,” Bugri Naabu stressed.
Mustapha Hamid, Spokesperson for Nana Akufo-Addo, believes the NPP’s firm and constitutional handling of the recent internal suspensions, is an indication of the party’s ability to govern.
Mr. Hamid’s argument is that, the NPP is a party anchored by institutions and procedure, not personalities, hence is a more competent option for governance, than the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Speaking on the Point Blank segment of Eyewitness News, he advanced that “If the NPP has shown itself to be a party that will let the rod fall on whoever falls foul of its laws and procedure, then I think that is a party that we can entrust the destiny of Ghana… an NPP government will be a
government that will let the law apply.”
Mr. Hamid, was responding to the NDC and its flagbearer, President John Mahama’s criticism of the NPP, as a party intolerant of dissenting views.
During the NDC’s official campaign launch, President Mahama, accused the NPP of unnecessarily punishing its members, who speak against issues within the party, in reference to the suspended Paul Afoko, who had his suit challenging his dismissal from the party dismissed.
But Mr. Hamid believes the handling of Afoko’s suspension “is a reason why the Ghanaian people should vote for the NPP.”
“The major distinction between human societies and animal society is the existence of law. That is what distinguishes us as human beings from lower animals,” he added.
“In our party, it’s about institutions and not human beings and so when the human beings fall foul of this law, and try to destabilize the institutional workings of our constitutional structures, the law applies.”
He proceeded to turn the tables on the NDC, accusing them of rather breeding a culture of intolerance given its handling of same in the past.
“I am alleging that the NDC is the intolerant party in this country because it is the party that when Dr. Obed Asamoah, Frances Asiam and Bede Zeden etc. dissented and spoke their minds against happenings in their congress in Koforidua, they were actually chased out of their party with horsewhips. People were beaten in broad daylight,” he retorted.
He also pointed out the seeming blotches three different breakaway parties, stemming from dissenting views, have left on the NDC.
“In the fourth Republic, three parties have emerged out of the NDC; the National Reform Party, the Democratic Freedom Party and the National Democratic Party, all as a result of a certain show of intolerance towards dissent.”