Suspension of Afoko a sham; he is still NPP Chairman – Lawyers
Lawyers of suspended NPP Chairman, Paul Afoko, say his suspension was purely a sham.
They believe he is still the substantive chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). The lawyers have served notice they will be heading to court over the matter.
The National Executive Committee of the NPP Friday unanimously endorsed a recommendation by the party’s disciplinary committee suspending Mr. Afoko.
The disciplinary committee acted on two separate petitions filed by eminent fellows in the NPP.
Alhaji Alhaji Abubakar Sulemana Yirimea and Alhaji Aminu Amadu requested the suspension of Mr. Paul Afoko for stated misconduct.
Alhaji Yirimea said amongst others that “The circumstances under which the Director of Finance and Administration and others were relieved of their positions was contrary to Article 10 (6) and Article 9 (F) (ii) of the NPP Constitution which gives the National Executive Committee (NEC), the sole power to appoint and dismiss Directors of the Party. This brought a lot of confusion and the media made mockery of the Party.”
He argued the suspected involvement of Gregory Afoko, a brother of the chairman, in the alleged murder of the late Upper East Regional chairman of the NPP, Adams Mahama, has weakened Mr. Afoko’s ability to spearhead a robust campaign especially in the north of the country.
Having received the petition, the disciplinary committee of the party wrote inviting Mr. Afoko but he failed to turn up on four separate occasions, sending his lawyers instead.
One of the lawyers, Dr. Peter Atupare, told Joy FM and MultiTV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile, Mr. Afoko was unwell and could not have attended the invitations.
“Chairman Afoko made several attempts to appear; the first one he was suffering from ill health and could not appear; the second one we produced medical reports to prove that [he was unwell]; the third instance we appeared and security concerns were raised that the venue chosen was not safe for Chairman Afoko to appear and this was brought to the attention of the disciplinary committee,” Dr Atupare explained.
He said the NPP Chairman wanted a venue chosen by him for the hearing.
According to him, preliminary objections on the composition and jurisdiction of the committee were raised but were not addressed by the committee.
Referring to an earlier petition submitted by the Council of Elders of the party for the suspension of Afoko, Dr. Atupare said they objected because Prof. Mike Oquaye and Ama Busia, both members of the disciplinary committee were also members of the Council of Elders who filed the petition.
Host of Newsfile, Samson Lardy Anyenini pointed out to him that the petition determined by the disciplinary committee was not the one submitted by the Council of Elders, but ones received from two other individuals.
He said the committee did not write to his client about those two petitions.
“We think he is in charge, what happened is void ab initio (from the beginning) [but] we will proceed to test the system as to whether he is still in charge,” he stated.
Contributing to the discussion, senior journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, said if Mr. wants to test whether he is still in charge as NPP Chairman, he should call a National Council meeting, a Steering Committee meeting or a NEC meeting and see if anybody will turn up.
“He (Afoko) should test the theory the lawyer just laid out and see whether the king is naked or not,” he stressed.
Kweku Baako said even though he wished things had not degenerated to this extent in the NPP, Mr. Afoko did not help himself and the party by relying on ill advice and engaging in the conduct complained about in the various petitions.