Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr Kofi Kunadu Apraku, Asamoah Boateng, Alan Kyerematen and Joe Ghartey
The immediate past Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Central Tongu constituency of the Volta Region, David Hoezame, has initiated a court action to stop the party from holding its presidential primary, raising issues about the composition of the NPP?s National Council, a position he was interested in.
Hoezame?s action is to stall the process started by the party to see to the election of a flagbearer for the 2016 general elections latest by the close of the year.
Seven people, including the 2012 presidential candidate of the party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, have already picked nomination forms as at Wednesday to contest in the NPP presidential primary whenever a final date is fixed.
David Hoezame, who lost in his bid to win the constituency chairmanship election, claimed that all attempts initiated by him to get the party to follow due process ? such as putting in place a National Council as contained in the party?s constitution ? had proved futile.
The former chairman said that the actions of the party towards organising an election to choose a presidential candidate without a National Council, was a breach of the party?s constitution which had not only prompted disquiet in the party, but had also reduced the political grouping of which he is a member into disrepute.
He has therefore filed a suit at an Accra High Court seeking to bar the NPP as a party and the National Chairman, Paul Afoko, from going ahead to set a date for the congress, virtually throwing the NPP?s programme and calendar out of gear.
The court action prevented the NPP from going ahead with an intended National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Council meeting scheduled for yesterday.
In the suit dated June 17, 2014, Hoezame, whose action is the topic of discussion in the party, is seeking a declaration that the announcement of the December 6, 2014, tentative date for the election of the NPP?s presidential candidate is null and void.
He is also seeking an order from the court to restore the party?s constitution to its original state and ?duly and properly set up the National Council in accordance with provisions of the NPP?s constitution.?
The NPP man also prayed the court to give an order restraining the party?s Chairman, Paul Afoko from what he described as ?further breach? of the NPP constitution in addition to the award of cost in his favour.
In his statement of claim, Hoezame averred that he had been waiting for ?notice of polls? to enable him to put himself up for the National Council election, but to no avail.
Aside that, he indicated that there had not been any such notice about the conduct of the said election, coupled with the fact that there had not been any election to choose regional representatives to serve on the National Council of the NPP.
This, he claimed, was because on June 9, 2014, he was informed of a purported National Council meeting which his checks confirmed same, thereby jeopardising his determination to contest for the said election, which in his opinion, was a breach of the party?s constitution.
?It is the case of the Plaintiff that on/or around the 9th day of June, 2014, the 2nd Defendant (NPP Chairman) and other officers of the 1st Defendant (NPP) announced 6th December, 2014 as the date for the election of a presidential candidate for the 1st defendant.
?Plaintiff further avers that the 2nd defendant in concert with other officers of the 1st Defendant, has called for a National Council meeting on the 19th of June, 2014 to among others, take a decision on the organisation of an election to choose the 1st Defendant?s presidential candidate for the 2016 General Elections?
It further claimed, ?Plaintiff avers that as at date hereof the 1st Defendant has no National Council since there has not been any process in accordance with Article 7(15)(iv) to elect regional representatives to serve on the said National Council of the 1st Defendant Party??
He therefore feels aggrieved by the actions of the party.
Hoezame argued that per the constitution of the party ?there shall be a National Council which subject to the decisions of a National Delegates conference, shall direct the affairs of the NPP.?
Hoezame claims that ?if the NPP?s constitution is not restored to its state before the organisation of its presidential candidate?s elections, the party will suffer loss and irreparable damage.?
The plaintiff was the 2010 campaign coordinator of Alan Kyerematen and in the recent run-up to the NPP national conference in Tamale he played a similar role for party Chairman, Paul Afoko.
It would be recalled that during the last NPP National Council meeting at the Alisa Hotel, Mr Afoko argued on the same line before he was overruled by majority of members when the issue was put to vote.
His hard-line stance made C.K. Tedem, chairman of the Council of Elders, to accuse him of being remotely controlled by some interest group in the party.
Speculations are rife that because Mr. Afoko could not win his case in the board room, he is using his alleged lackey to use the court system to stall the process for early congress which the 10 regional chairpersons recently said should be fast-tracked.
A meeting of the Steering Committee has been called for today over the latest brouhaha that has rocked the party.
Hoezame?s alleged flirtation with some NDC top wigs, especially former Road and Highway Minister Joe Gidisu, cost him the chairmanship of the constituency in the last elections because delegates doubted his loyalty to the party.
This twist adds to an already vexed situation of the party and would remain a source of discussions until it is disposed of by the High Court where it has been lodged for adjudication.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu