Court Says No To NPP
AN ATTEMPT by the Ashanti Regional Secretariat of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to overturn an interlocutory injunction placed on the party's upcoming regional delegates' congress fell on the rocks on Monday.
The defect was recorded when a Kumasi High Court 3, presided over by Justice Jacob Boon, extended the duration of the injunction order to Wednesday, January 27, 2010.
This was after the counsel for the plaintiff, Owusu Sekyere, had argued that there are eight more constituencies in the region that are yet to conduct their constituency elections.
Earlier, the counsel for the defendants, Sir Dennis Agyei, had prayed the court to overturn the order of interlocutory injunction to enable his clients organize the regional delegates' congress, but the presiding judge refused.
Upholding the argument put forward by the plaintiff's counsel, Justice Boon extended the time-span of the injunction to January 27, and indicated that the case would be heard on that day.
Announcing the extension of the injunction, Justice Boon warned the national and regional secretariat of the party, its agents, servants and assignees to desist from holding the regional congress until the final determination of the case.
The presiding judge slated Monday, January 11, 2010 for hearing the case, which has further delayed the holding of the Ashanti Regional NPP congress.
In attendance at the brief court session were party gurus, including the Regional Chairman, Robert Yaw Amankwaah, former deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Maxwell Kofi Jumah and Chairman of the Asokwa Constituency, Asare Bediako.
On Wednesday, December 23, 2009, the chairman of the Asante Akim North Constituency, Nana Adu Asabere, sought an interlocutory injunction order from the Kumasi High Court 3, restraining the national and regional secretariat of the party from organizing the Ashanti regional delegates' congress.
Granting the order, the court restrained agents, servants and assignees of both the regional and national secretariat of the party from holding the congress till the final determination of the case.
In his statement of claim, Nana Adu Asabere prayed the court to grant the interlocutory injunction order, to enable the party conclude its constituency elections before the regional congress.
He contended at the time that 11 constituencies in the region were yet to hold their congresses to elect their officers; therefore, any immediate congress before the conclusion of those elections would disenfranchise delegates from those constituencies.
Nana Adu Asabere explained to DAILY GUIDE in an interview that he decided to take the court option because according to him, Peter Mac Manu, the party's National Chairman, was bent on holding the congress without the 11 constituencies.
Appearing at the court on Monday, the regional secretariat was full of hope that the court would overturn the interlocutory injunction, to enable the party go ahead with the upcoming regional delegates' congress.
The hope of the regional secretariat was however dashed when the court, instead of overturning interlocutory injunction order, extended it by two more weeks.
This means that the regional secretary cannot go ahead with the regional delegates' congress on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 as envisaged before attending the court proceedings.
The regional congress was originally scheduled for November 15, 2009, but it did not take place because of several court litigations by some party members.
It was then rescheduled to Wednesday, December 30, 2009, but it again did not take place as planned due to the placement of an injunction on the exercise by a Kumasi High Court 3.
In an interview with DAILY GUIDE, the chairman of the elections committee, John Osei Kusi, gave a hint of the party's readiness to conduct the regional delegates' congress in spite of the pending court order.
He explained that in the party's constitution, it is not stated anywhere that a regional delegates' congress can only be conducted when all constituencies have completed their elections.
Osei Kusi however disclosed that the constitution stipulates that regional delegates' congress could be conducted when two thirds of constituency elections are completed.
Noting that he was yet to be briefed on the court proceedings, the elections committee chairman said an appropriate decision that would be in the supreme interest of the party will be taken on the matter.
From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi