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09.03.2009 NPP News

Nwabiagya NPP constituency rumpus: Court declares Kofi Owusu chairman

By Sebastian R. Freiku, & Issah Alhassan, Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle
Nwabiagya NPP constituency rumpus: Court declares Kofi Owusu chairman

AN APPEAL Court sitting in Accra on February 19, 2009, upheld an application by Nana Kofi Owusu, declaring him as the substantive chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the Atwima Nwabiagya constituency.

The presiding judge, Mr. Justice Eric Kwasi Piesare, directed that the appellants, ten in number, continue to hold office as NPP Executive officers to exercise the powers of that office and to perform all legitimate political functions of NPP in the constituency until the final determination of the appeal pending before it.

The Appeal Court further suspended the three-man Interim Committee appointed by the National Chairman of the NPP to manage the affairs of the NPP in the constituency in pursuant of a High Court order of March 2008.

The three persons constituting the said interim committee have also been retrained from performing any such functions assigned to them. The IMC members would have no business to interfere with the appellants in the performance of their duties as NPP Executives.

Consequently, the IMC members have been ordered to render accounts to the first appellant and hand over any party property in their possession to him, within 14 days of the court's ruling.

All the defendants, including the Ashanti Regional chairman of the party, Mr. Robert Yaw Owusu Amankwa and his executives have also been restrained from interfering with the performance of the functions of the appellants until the final determination of the case.

Meanwhile, in spite of the verdict of the Court of Appeal, Nana Kofi Owusu still faces yet another opposition from some NPP supporters in his constituency. A group of angry supporters from the Atwima Nwabiagya constituency last week Monday besieged the premises of the Ashanti Regional Office of the party in protest against the chairmanship of Nana Kofi Owusu.

Wearing red bands and wielding placards with inscriptions like “Go to Hell, Kofi Owusu”, “Save Atwima Nwabiagya from total collapse” and “We don't want Nana Kofi Owusu as our Chairman”, the irate supporters demanded the immediate dismissal of the constituency chairman in order to ensure peace in the trouble-ridden constituency.

The Atwima Nwabiagya constituency has since 2005 been embroiled in litigation after conflict erupted in a constituency congress, leading to the formation of two opposing executives, one faction headed by Nana Kofi Owusu and another faction headed by one Mr. Oduro Frimpong.

The situation led to incessant quarrel and legal battles in the constituency, resulting in the eventual suspension of the constituency in 2007.

In an accompanied petition presented to the Regional executives of the party and signed by the spokespersons of the group, Mr. Appiagyei Danka and Eric Dankwah, the supporters accused the constituency chairman of disintegrating the party in the constituency and frustrating every effort by both the national and regional hierarchy of the party to reconcile feuding factions in the constituency.

They said since he was controversially elected as the constituency chairman in 2003, Nana Kofi Owusu had constantly fomented trouble in the constituency through his discriminatory and divide-and-rule tactics, a situation which according them, has brought the constituency into public ridicule and disrepute.

The supporters stated that during the recent general elections, Nana Owusu, who had then been suspended by the Regional Executives of the party for gross misconduct, did the unthinkable by going to court, seeking to nullify the candidature of the then parliamentary candidate, Hon. Benito Owusu Bio, in an attempt to deny the party and the constituency an opportunity to be represented in parliament.