The Vetting Committee of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has disqualified Mr. Stephen Dee Larbi, from contesting the Adenta constituency parliamentary primary of the party.
Dee Larbi, who was bent on unseating the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Kwadwo Opare-Hammond, was disqualified on grounds of having dual-citizenship, of Ghana and Canada, and for making false pretences.
Considering the fact that having dual-citizenship, was against the provisions of anybody seeking public office, and the fact that making false representations to gain a position was a criminal offence under the country's criminal code, the Committee decided not to allow him to contest on the party's ticket.
Article 94 of Ghana's Consitution states, “A Person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament if he or she owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana.”
Long before he appeared before the Vetting Committee of his party, to contest as a parliamentary aspirant in the Adenta constituency, questions had started flying over the credibility of Mr. Stephen Dee Larbi to contest the constituency primary.
In spite of he not meeting a condition, provided by the party in areas where there are sitting Members of Parliament (MPs), which prescribes “an aspiring candidate must have shown proof of demonstrable commitment to developing, and nurturing the party, particularly at the level of the constituency in which he/she seeks nomination, for at least two (2) years”, certain claims made by the aspirant, on his nomination form, raised doubts on his educational background, since subsequent checks proved otherwise.
This came to the attention of the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the party, who instituted an investigation into the aspirant's background.
It later turned out that the suspicion was a reality, when the Headmistress of Nifa Senior High School in Akropong-Akuapem, Madam Charlotte Addo, responded to queries from party officials, as to whether or not Dee Larbi indeed attended the school, from 1977-1982, as he stated on his nomination form.
In her response to the queries dated April 8, 2008, which was contained on the official letterhead of the school, the Headmistress virtually gave Dee Larbi up, stressing “I write to inform you that our records show that the above-named applicant was not in the school, from 1977-1982.”
Though Dee Larbi claimed to have to have sat for the Ordinary Level (O, Level) Certificate Examinations, in the school in 1982, the Headmistress said, “There was no candidate with the said name at the Ordinary Level Examination in 1982.”
In spite of that, another issue, which bordered on Dee Larbi's credibility, was a claim he made to the effect that he attended a certain Anaco Business School in Toronto, Canada, from 1983-1987.
However, extensive checks and investigations have revealed that no such school exists in Canada, by that name.
A check on the list of existing Business Schools in Canada has also proved negative.
In all, 45 Business Schools were found to exist in Canada, of which the name of the disqualified aspirant's school was not included.
Meanwhile, the list of Business Schools in Canada, was last modified on March 20, 2008 at 10:39am.
Prodding questions, aroused out of the representations or misrepresentations, Dee Larbi made to party executives, have since revealed the repesentations to be false.
Though his assigns, and Dee Larbi, claimed he had renounced his citizenship, checks by the party officials proved otherwise.
That notwithstanding, the aspirant has spent less than two years in the Adenta constituency, which he seeks to lead.
His party membership card indicates that he was admitted into the Adenta constituency on October 8, 2007, not even up to a year, let alone, the two years as required by the party.
To secure him the ticket to enter Parliament, Dee Larbi was said to be buying and paying his way through, by giving freebies to party executives and potential delegates, to influence their decision.
A document, sighted by this reporter, indicated that out of 10 constituency executives, eight claimed not to know him in the constituency.
Of the remaining two, only the constituency Women Organiser, Patience Tetteh, said she knew him, whilst the other, the Youth Organiser, failed to comment.