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02.09.2013 Opinion

Is The New Patriotic Party (NPP) In Tragic Times?

By The Scandal Newspaper, Ghana
Is The New Patriotic Party (NPP) In Tragic Times?
LISTEN SEP 2, 2013

The last few months appear to have been some of the most tragic months for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during which time the party recorded some very embarrassing moments and culminating in a disagreeable Supreme Court Judgment that dashed the hopes of many supporters.

The 2012 flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo led his party into the December 7 general elections but lost to John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and headed straight to the Supreme Court to seek redress as a believer in the rule of law. The decision of the National Council of the NPP to go to court quelled down the mounting political tension.

Whilst the case was ongoing and being beamed live on television, the NPP chalked some negatives to the consternation of some of its followers. First, a Founding Member of the NPP, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, took the star witness of the petitioners, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to the cleaners by doubting his competence to represent the NPP in the dock in the landmark case.

His assessment of Dr. Bawumiah was met with stiff criticism culminating in his suspension by the NPP. NPP's new kid on the block, Sammy Awuku who is a Deputy Director of Communications of the party was hauled before the apex court to answer charges of contempt. Fortunately, he escaped incarceration but was slapped with a ban.

Then came the case of an NPP activist and Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Searchlight newspaper, Ken Kuranchie who was sentenced to 10 days imprisonment, after the Supreme Court found guilty of criminal contempt. He was in the dock with an NDC man but he had a lighter sentence of 3 days.

The penultimate arrived when the Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, General Secretary of the NPP together with another NPP activist, Hopeson Adorye were hauled before the court and chastised live on television and found guilty of criminal contempt.

As a fall out of the embarrassment Sir John suffered in the hands of the Supreme Court judges, another NPP firebrand and a Founding Member of the party, Dr Nyaho Nyaho Tamakoe called for his demotion and openly asked the embattled General Secretary to resign from his post.

The call by Dr. Nyaho Tamakoe made things go haywire as party loyalists traded open accusations at each other. Then off course the famous Arthur Kennedy and his opinion on the All-Die-be Die Mantra.

We reproduce below some media publications on the cases we have mentioned above.

Saved by the bell; Sammy Awuku escapes jail but banned from court

An apologetic Deputy Communications Director of the NPP, Sammy Awuku has been banned from attending the hearing of the Presidential Election Petition.

A subdued Awuku narrowly avoided jail by apologising profusely and upon the intervention of lead counsel for both petitioners and respondents after the court cited him for making contemptuous statements on the court's warnings against same.

The judges gave the ruling after concession by Awuku that his comments on Peace FM criticising the final touchline warning were offensive.

Sammy Awuku 'produced' himself before the court retracting and apologising for the comments. The court had indicated it would deal with his case at a later time after he was found to be absent in court.

The NPP activist criticised the judges for citing a Daily Guide report as improper reportage. He said the court was being selective in its warning.

His comments did not go down well with the judges and when hearing resumed on Wednesday, President of the Panel asked if Sammy Awuku was in court.

He was not, and so proceedings for the day had to go on. After lunch, the court resumed sitting with Sammy Awuku making an appearance.

He was asked by Atuguba if he had anything to say.
The Deputy Communications Director retracted the comments and offered an unqualified apology.

The Bar, beginning with Philip Addison apologised on behalf of Awuku. He had together with the Respondent lawyers gone to meet the bench in chambers to apologise on behalf of Mr. Awuku.

In open court, the Respondents also joined the chorus pleading with the judges to tamper justice with mercy.

The judges retired to ponder over the matter and came with a ruling.

President William Atuguba said having considered the candid admission by Sammy Awuku and the apology issued, they had decided not to invoke their powers of contempt but to restrict his attendance of court.

He ruled that hencforth, Sammy Awuku has been banned from making an appearance in court and that was the beginning of punitive measures against all others who have decided to disrespect the authority of the judges. June 26, 2013

Criminal contempt: Ken Kuranchie jailed 10 days, Atubiga gets 3

A defiant Editor of the Searchlight Newspaper, Mr. Ken Kuranchie has been sentenced to 10 days' imprisonment, having been found guilty of criminal contempt by the Supreme Court.

The governing National Democratic Congress's Stephen Atubiga was also sentenced to three days' imprisonment for the same offence.

Delivering the judgment, the President of the nine-member panel, hearing the Presidential Election Petition, Justice William A. Atuguba, said Mr. Kuranchie did not show any remorse over comments considered offensive by the court.

He said the editor's refusal to unequivocally apologise for the comments was a clear "defiance of the authority of this court and the due administration of justice."

Mr. Kuranchie, following the court's invitation last week, appeared in court today with three lawyers - Messrs. Samuel Atta Akyea, Yaw Owusu Addo and Kofi Boakye.

Unlike Mr Atubiga who appeared somber and apologised for the offending comments, Ken Kuranchie explained that his comments were not meant to offend the court.

After heated exchanges between the Daily Searchlight newspaper editor and the judges, Mr Kuranchie said if the justices felt offended by his comments, then he was sorry.

He, following the court's summons to NPP Deputy Communications Director, Sammy Awuku, wrote a front page comment in his newspaper in which he questioned how the justices heard Sammy Awuku's comments but didn't hear worse commentary from others.

Sammy Awuku had said that the court's citing of a Daily Guide report as an example of poor reporting, was selective and hypocritical.

The court took an issue with the statement. Sammy Awuku apologised. But the court punished him by banishing him from the court for the rest of the trial.

Mr. Kuranchie in his comment said he supported Sammy Awuku's view that the court was being selective and hypocritical. He repeated similar sentiments in court Tuesday, stating that the First Respondent, President John Dramani Mahama had made statements that ought to be prejudicial and yet the court said nothing.

That infuriated the judges.
Reading the ruling of the court, Justice Atuguba said, "We were left in no doubt that he (Ken Kuranchie) understood those parts of his publication which impute deliberate selectivity and hypocrisy with regards to our remarks about Daily Guide and Sammy Awuku's sanction."

"We have no doubt that the said statements are made with intent by him to defy the authority of this court and the due administration of justice; accordingly we find him guilty of criminal contempt of this court and sentence him to 10 days imprisonment," he added.

On the case of Mr. Atubiga, who had said that the governing NDC would disregard a verdict of the Court if it goes against the party, Justice Atuguba said he had "shown thorough remorse, having admitted his error readily and started his retractions before his appearance before this court."

In spite of the remorse, the court said, Stephen Atubiba's "utterances were very serious; they were intentionally made contemptuously; accordingly we find him guilty of criminal contempt and sentence him to three days' imprisonment."

Ken Kuranchie and Stephen Atubiga were quickly whisked away into waiting police vans and taken to the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons to begin their sentences.

A third person, Kwaku Boahen was, however, discharged after the comments that brought him to the court were found to have been made before the justices issued what they called a last touchline. July 2, 2013
SIR JOHN ESCAPES JAIL NARROWLY! Courtesy Ayitoi Otoo's 'Masterful Defence'

Thee General Secretary of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, and one of the firebrands of the party, Hopeson Adorye, yesterday narrowly escaped doing some jail sentences courtesy the masterful legal defence mounted on their behalf by indefatigable lawyer Ayikoi Otoo.

The Supreme Court however, imposed a fine of GH¢5,000 on the General Secretary and Ghc2000, on Hopeson Adorye, after convicting the two for criminal contempt and reluctantly pronouncing custodial sentences.

Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie has to deposit the money with the court by the close of work today (Thursday) or in default; serve a prison sentence of six months.

The NPP chief scribe is also to retract the said offensive comments and apologise for same.

Sir John, as Owusu Afriyie is known in political circles, is also to sign a bond to be of good behaviour. Hopeson Adorye, would pay a GH¢2,000 fine.

Reading out the mitigated sentence, President of the presiding Judges, Justice William Anaam Atuguba said the court reluctantly avoided imposing a custodial sentence on the two due to incessant pleas by the Peace Council and by the lawyer of the contemnors.

Ayikoi Otoo pleaded with the judges to temper justice with mercy and to give him a 59th birthday gift.

It appeared the judges listened to the pleas but they, especially Atuguba, had some harsh words.

The Presiding Judge cut Sir John and Hopeson Adorye to size before issuing the sentences to both of them.

A subdued Sir John told the court he is humbled by the baptism of fire he had received. 15 August 2013
Tarzan, Arthur K, Nyaho Tamakloe Are Rabble Rousers; Ignore Them - NPP man

A member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Council, Eugene Antwi, Eugene Antwi says Dr.Nyaho Nyaho Tamaklo, Dr.Arthur Kennedy and Dr.Charles Wereko-Brobby are the "most indiscipline peopled in the NPP".

He said since NPP decided to challenge the 2012 presidential election in court, these three "wise men" have made a conscious effort to rundown the party.

"We are protecting this political vehicle [NPP] jealously and zealously and will deal with anyone who will seek to run it down. People have sacrificed a lot for this party so these three men cannot hold the NPP to ransom" he exclaimed.

Eugene Antwi's remarks were in reaction to commentaries made by Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe and Arthur Kennedy about the fate of the party's General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie popularly known as Sir John after he was fined for intentional criminal contempt.

The two outspoken NPP gurus have openly expressed disappointment about the party's inability to sanction Sir John after he was convicted by the Supreme Court for contempt.

Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe demanded the resignation of Sir John because he had brought the name of the party into disrepute.

Dr. Arthur Kennedy who disagrees with Nyaho's call said the National leadership should crack the whip from top hierarchy to the bottom including the party's 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Akufo Addo.

He queried anybody would ask Sir John to resign when Nana Addo is still at post? .

Dr. Wereko-Brobby also known as Tarzan on the other hand made comments deemed harmful to the image of the party and was subsequently suspended .

Speaking on Asempa FM's Ekosii Sen programme Friday, Eugene Antwi said the conduct of the three men [Arthur K, Tarzan, Nyaho] smacks of "double standards and hypocrisy".

According to him, all they are seeking to do is to divert the party's attention from the court case to satisfy their pay masters.

Eugene Antwi contended that since John Mahama became president, the demeanor and utterances of Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe and his allies towards the NPP has changed dramatically.

"I become worried when people who claim to be leading members of the party behave like this; if they [Arthur K, Tarzan, Nyaho]have any advice, they should give it to their pay master who is being challenged in court" he offered.

The NPP Council member said the three must remember that "the NPP is the hand that fed them to achieve their political aim".

Eugene Antwi stated emphatically that the three doctors given their conduct are not genuine members of the NPP and thus must be ignored. 16, 2013.

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