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20.12.2007 NPP News

Court puts injunction on NPP delegates

Court puts injunction on NPP delegates

A Kumasi High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Kwame Ansu-Gyeabour, has ordered the withdrawal of some 10 persons selected to represent the Oforikrom Constituency of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to vote at the National Delegates' Congress of the party, scheduled for December 22.

They include Mr M.K. Obiri, Mrs Agnes Oduro, Mr Francis Azalate, Mr Anto Kusi, Mr Baba Awudu, Mr Joe Amoah, Mr Aboagye, Mrs Helena Asante, Mr Adjei Bediako and Mr Lawrence Akwasi Prempeh.

The order followed a writ of summons submitted to the court by Mr. Kofi Owusu Ansah and three others seeking an order for perpetual injunction to restrain Mr Lawrence Akwasi Prempeh, Oforikrom NPP Constituency Chairperson and the Ashanti Regional Headquarters of the party, who are the first and second defendants in the case, from using the names of the above mentioned delegates to represent the constituency and vote at the congress.

According to the statement of claim filed on behalf of the plaintiff by their solicitors, Messrs Mathias Gollo and Co., Mr Kofi Owusu Ansah, first plaintiff, is the NPP Organiser for the Oforikrom Constituency and lives in Kumasi.

It said the others, Mr Gustav Frimpong-Manso, second plaintiff, Okyeame Ampong, third plaintiff and Mrs Janet Addae, fourth plaintiff, all resident in Kumasi were also Secretary, Assistant Secretary and a Polling Station Chairperson of the same constituency.

The statement said, in fulfilment of the constitutional provision of the NPP, the National Council of the party decided that the Congress would be held on Saturday 22nd December 2007 and as such all party members were accordingly notified.

It said by Article 12 of the constitution, members who are entitled to elect the presidential candidate at the congress would comprise 10 delegates from each constituency.

The statement said the constitution also stipulated that "every constituency executive committee shall convene an extra-ordinary constituency delegates conference to elect, when required, six members of the constituency who are not constituency officers together with four constituency officers to be 10 delegates to attend the congress."

It said all constituencies had been asked to keep the said provisions in the selection of their delegates for the congress.

The statement said, however, that the first defendant refused to abide by this regulation and single-handedly picked his favourites to constitute the delegates to represent the Oforikrom constituency to vote at the congress.

The plaintiffs contended that this mode of selecting the delegates for the impending congress was a clear and flagrant violation of the provisions of the NPP constitution and ought therefore to be declared unconstitutional.

They said the development was also a breach of the fundamental rights of the plaintiffs as well as the numerous members of the Oforikrom constituency.

The statement further contended that the sort of arbitrariness displayed by the first defendant and his likes had the potential of breaking up the NPP and also likely to dim its fortunes in the 2008 general elections.

In upholding the request of the plaintiffs, the court ordered that the defendants, their agents or any person claiming through them were restrained from using the delegates arbitrarily hand-picked by the first defendant for the congress pending the hearing and determination of the matter.