Afoko to appeal High Court judgement; urges all to be calm

Paul AfokoEmbattled National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Paul A. Afoko, says he disagrees with the decision of the Accra High Court that upheld his suspension by the party.

He said though has accepted the decision of the Court’s judgement, he has tasked his lawyers to “carefully study the judgment and launch an appeal against the decision at the appropriate time”.

The Accra High Court on Monday refused to reinstate Paul Afoko who was suspended last year as the chairman of the NPP.

According to the court, the party’s National Executive Council acted lawfully by adopting the recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee to suspend Mr Afoko.

Per Monday’s judgment, Mr Afoko remains suspended as chairman of the party as the court did not find any breaches of the party’s constitution as argued by Mr Afoko in his suit at the court.

Mr Afoko was suspended indefinitely in a unanimous vote by the Party’s National Executive Committee on October 23, 2015 at the back of a demand made by the National Council of Elders of the party in September. But in October 2015, he filed a suit at the Court challenging his suspension.

He had sought his reinstatement grounding his argument on claims that his suspension was procedurally wrong per the party’s constitution. NPP acted lawfully But the court presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah held otherwise on the basis that the procedure adopted by the party was fair and lawful.

According to the court, Mr Afoko and his legal team failed to adduce evidence to support the claim that the decision by the party’s NEC was procedurally wrong and unconstitutional as alleged in the statement of case.

But a statement issued by his spokesperson, Nana Yaw Osei said they will carefully study the 85-paged judgment and accordingly file an appeal if necessary.

The statement said Mr Afoko is calm notwithstanding the big blow, and  urged all party members to also “remain calm and not to engage in any unnecessary arguments but work to make the party supreme but not of personalities”.

“It has always been emphasised that this legal battle is not about personalities but about the restoration of our party to its core values of respect for one another’s opinion, the rule of law and the need to remain united in face of all challenges,” the statement said.

Mr. Afoko’s  suspension received backlash from the ranks and file of the party, with some describing it as unconstitutional, in view of the NEC meeting at which the decision was taken.

He had prior to that been criticized for making public comments on the party’s finances, a practice some party officials said was against laid down rules.

In a letter, the NEC demanded “a thorough investigation into the actions of the National Chairman which clearly constitutes a breach of the party’s constitution, an appropriate recommendation to promote discipline, order, harmony and progress in the party towards the 2016 polls, and at least a suspension of Chairman Afoko from office until after the 2016 elections.”

But Mr Afoko challenged the events that culminated in his suspension maintaining that the party erred in taking the said decision.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana

Twitter @steviekgh_TV3

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