The Coordinators were suspended over a petition they filed against the Constituency Chairman, Alhaji Awudu Issaka, for allegedly campaigning for incumbent MP, William Agyapong Quaitoo, on February 23.

Some 10 out of the 18 Area Coordinators of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Akim Oda Constituency of the Eastern Region who have been indefinitely suspended by Regional Executives have petitioned the hierarchy in Accra for intervention.

Speaking on behalf of the affected persons at a news conference on Friday, April 17, 2020, Coordinator for Nsenaa Electoral Area, Frank Nkansah appealed to the NPP National Chairman, Freddy Blay and General Secretary, John Boadu “and all appropriate party organs that matter, to reverse the decision” which he described as unconstitutional and against their fundamental human rights.  

The Coordinators were suspended over a petition they filed against the Constituency Chairman, Alhaji Awudu Issaka, accusing him of openly campaigning for incumbent MP, William Agyapong Quaitoo, on 23rd February, 2020.

The petition sought to address the conduct of the constituency chairman, who is a member of the Constituency Parliamentary Elections Committee and as such, was supposed to remain neutral.

Frank Nkansah, coordinator for Nseena Electoral Area who is the lead petitioner alleged in the petition that the Chairman whilst addressing a section of party delegates sought to imply that President Akufo-Addo had ordered constituency Chairmen in the Region to make sure all incumbent MPs were retained.

He told the media that some polling station delegates aggrieved about the development, have threatened on several occasions to demonstrate against the party “but we the 10 coordinators are in constant talks with them to exercise restrains but we do not know for how long they can hold on to their threats.”

Read the statement below:

PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE SUSPENSION OF 10 ELECTORAL AREA COORDINATORS IN THE AKIM ODA CONSTITUENCY IN THE EASTERN REGION OF GHANA HELD ON FRIDAY 17TH APRIL, 2020.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media, you are warmly welcomed to this Press Conference.

In pursuant to article 4 subsection 3b of the New Patriotic Party Constitution which states that “A complaint against a member, or a Constituency Executive officer, other than a member of Parliament, Shall be in writing to the Regional Executive Committee”, a petition was written by 10 Electoral Area Coordinators on 23rd February, 2020 to the Regional Secretariat for redress. The petition sought to address the conduct of the constituency Chairman Alhaji Awudu Issaka who is a member of the Constituency Parliamentary Elections Committee and as such supposed to remain neutral was openly seen campaigning in favor of the incumbent Member of Parliament. We have an audio evidence of the Constituency Chairman openly addressing a section of party delegates where he even implicated the President His Excellency Nana Addo-Danquah Akkufo Addo telling all Eastern Regional Chairmen to make sure all incumbent Members of Parliament are retained. We believe our President never said that because he believes in the rule of law and the constitution of our party. 

Surprisingly, our petition was not addressed but rather on the 22nd March, 2020, we received a letter from the Regional Chairman Mr. Kinston Kissi, directing the Constituency Chairman to suspend us from all Party related activities in the constituency until further notice which he obliged. In the same letter, the Constituency Chairman was instructed by the Regional Chairman to refer the matter to the Constituency Disciplinary Committee for ratification and/or further action/punishment after having taken a definite position in the matter. This conduct of the regional Chairman is in strict breach of article 4 subsection 3(6&7a) of our party’s Constitution which states that “A member, who breaches any provision in this Constitution, or whose activities undermine the Party’s Constitution, shall have a complaint lodge against him/her”, A complaint against a member or office holder at the polling station level or non-elected constituency officer shall be filled at the Constituency Office”.

Upon receiving the suspension letter on 22nd March, 2020, an appeal was filed at the National Secretariat on 24th March, 2020 for redress in pursuant to article 4 subsection 6(3) which states “ A member aggrieved by or dissatisfied with a decision of the Regional Executive Committee may, within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of the notice of the decision of the Regional executive Committee, appeal against the decision to the National Disciplinary Committee by filling an appeal in writing with the General Secretary”.  Copies of our appeal were given to the National chairman, the Eastern Regional Council of Elders, the Chairman of the National Parliamentary Vetting Committee and the Akim Oda Constituency Council of Elders but our appeal has not been given the needed attention as we speak.

However, after 26 days upon receiving the suspension letter, the Constituency Disciplinary Committee has vehemently refused to call us for a fair hearing. This is in strict breach of article 4 subsection 5 (3) and article 3 subsection 3(2)   which states “A disciplinary Committee shall, within twenty-one (21) days of receipt of the complaint, conclude its deliberations on the matter, and make its recommendations thereon to the Executive Committee”, “A member shall have the right to be heard whenever his or her activities and conduct are in question and under consideration of the party” respectively.

Flowing from the above, we wish to state the following:

  1. Our conduct cannot be in breach of article 4 subsection 7f as stated in the suspension letter, it is rather the Constituency Chairman whose conduct squally fall into that for which reason, and for the love of our Party, we decided to bring to the attention of the Region.
  2. We sent a petition to the Regional Executive Committee for redress and they have no business doing otherwise. The petition which was supposed to be address has nothing to indicate any factionalism, but for them to investigate.
  3. The Regional Chairman cannot purport to have suspended us without giving us a fair hearing. It is against the rule of natural justice.
  4. We wish to state that the Regional Chairman instead of lodging a complaint against us as stated in article 4 subsection 3(6&7a) rather instructed the Constituency Chairman to suspend us which is wrong and unconstitutional.
  5. We wish to state that we sent the petition to the Regional Executive Committee for which it was addressed to the Regional chairman as the administrative head of the party, but was not addressed to the National Parliamentary Vetting Committee (NPVC) as claimed in the suspension letter. This makes the basis of the suspension null and void and of no effect. 
  6. We complained against the Constituency Chairman. That same person should not be the person to be authorized to suspend us because he cannot be a judge in his own case.
  7. We humbly wish to state that the suspension is wrong in law and has no legal effect. A party which prides itself as the apostles of the rule of law cannot be expected to act in such a manner.
  8. We again wish to state emphatically that this unconstitutional suspension is a plan which is orchestrated by the Constituency Chairman Alhaji Awudu issaka, the Member of Parliament Hon. William Agyapong Quaitoo and the Regional Chairman Mr. Kinston Kissi to disenfranchise we the 10 electoral Area coordinators ahead of the Constituency Parliamentary primaries.
  9. Finally, we wish to bring to the notice of the party that our polling station delegates are aggrieved about this unconstitutional act of the Constituency Chairman and the Regional Chairman and have threatened on several occasions to demonstrate against the party but we the 10 coordinators are in constant talks to them to exercise restrains but we do not know for how long they can hold on to their threats.

We are therefore humbly appealing to the National Chairman Mr. Freddie Blay, the General secretary Mr. John Boadu and all appropriate party organs that matters to reverse the decision which is unconstitutional and against the fundamental human right.