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22.07.2008 Politics

Bench warrant for Asabee`s boys out

By George Kyei Frimpong - Ghanaian Chronicle
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The legal battle initiated by an Accra based lawyer, Mr. Kweku Yamoah Paintsil, seeking the disqualification of the Information and National Orientation Minister, Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, aka Asabee, from standing election as the MP for Mfantsiman West has taken a horrendous twist.

While the substantive matter is pending before an Accra Fast Track Court for hearing and determination, the court has also issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the Constituency Secretary, Mr. K. Aduako Mensah and the 1st Vice-Chairman, Mr. Felix Antwi.

The warrant was granted by the presiding judge, Justice E. Amoako Asante following the failure of the duo to turn up in court on July 17 after being served with contempt charges.

Asabee and Mr.Peter Mac Manu, the Chairman for the New Patriotic Party have all been joined in the contempt and the substantive case.

In the contempt case filed on July 11, Mr. Paintsil noted that “In spite of an earlier suit which sought to bar Asabee and the other defendants from holding and presenting the Minister as the Parliamentary Candidate, Messrs. K. Aduako Mensah and Felix Antwi jointly and severally disobeyed the court order.”

He was emphatic that Asabee has inundated the entire Mfantsiman constituency with his campaign posters, a copy of which he said would be shown to the court on the hearing of this application, adding that these posters were intended to demonstrate to the electorate that the incumbent MP was the party's Parliamentary Candidate for the impending national elections, notwithstanding the court's action.

Building his evidence to include the others, he reiterated that all the defendants visited some towns and communities in the Mfantsiman West Constituency and openly and publicly campaigned for the incumbent by introducing him as the duly elected or nominated candidate of the NPP, for the impending parliamentary election, and requested that the electorate should vote for him.

Lawyer Paintsil is seeking among some multiple reliefs in the substantive suit, the disqualification of the Minister for camping Delegates and bribing, this, he said was at variance to the practice and directive given by the New Patriotic Party to guide all parliamentary candidates.

According to Paintsil, his case is supported by taped confessions of some of the Delegates which he would seek to play in court.

Paintsil has as well joined District Chief Executive (DCE) Mr. Quainoo Arthur in the suit and has asked the court to take note of Arthur's conduct in engaging in partisan politics, including 'engaging in fraudulent electoral practices, which in my view offends the letter and spirit of the Local Government Act, 1993 ( Act 462).'

Paintsil has brought to the fore issues that suggest that Asabee owes allegiance to the United Kingdom by still keeping in his possession a UK passport.

Paintsil re-emphasised that he will not countenance any interference from any quarter in his suit and is determined to see to it that the party, which authored and subscribes to the book 'Stolen Verdict', to further NPP's belief in the sanctity of elections, stay very much within the four corners of its beliefs.

Paintsil, who is a radio Pastor, pressed for the following additional reliefs:

“Declaration that the purported election held on Monday, 25th May, 2008, being a national public holiday, was a nullity as being in breach of the letter and spirit of the Public Holiday Act, 2001( Act 601);” During the primary, Asabee polled 116 votes to beat his two contenders, Kweku Paintsil and Madam Victoria Awuah, who had two and one votes respectively, in an election supervised by the Electoral Commission.

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