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14.12.2005 General News

Josiah Aryeh’s Case For Court

By PeaceFM
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As Rawlings fans rejoice over the victory of their Founder as announced by Ghana's Law Lords at the Supreme Court, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) activist and insider has decried the gnawing "undemocratic tendencies of the main opposition party", threatening to put a damper on the party's upcoming congress by dragging it to court over "violations" of the party constitution in matters regarding the Josiah Aryeh affair.

In a statement released exclusively to The Chronicle, the activist, who hails from the Odododiodoo constituency, also expressed worry and concern about the way the party has calmly carried out a coup against its own General-Secretary, without due regard to the laws of natural justice and the party's own constitution.

"As these people jockey for positions, they have markedly failed to notice the glaring illegality of the event. The man mandated to convene the NDC congress, Dr. Nii Josiah Aryeh, is still illegally suspended by the party although the party's own constitution stipulates that such suspension shall lapse after six months.

In flagrant violation of its own constitution and in contravention of Article 55(5) of the 1992 Constitution and section 9 of the Political Parties Law, 1992 (P.N.D.C.L. 281), the party is determined to carry out the illegal act. Article 55(5) of the Constitution provides that the internal organisation of a political party shall conform to democratic principles," the statement went.

Describing the NDC as a faction-ridden party and a caricature of a democratic institution, he noted that the Josiah Aryeh debacle arose from a private conversation he had with a long-term friend, Kwatei Nee-Owoo, charging that what his enemies within the party did was take advantage of the incident to call for an investigation which was to last no more than four weeks.

He asserted that, surprisingly, the investigation lasted for more than a year during which the vilest politics was practised. Baba Jamal, Bede Zeideng, and Bagbin, according to him, were all culpable in wrongfully indicting Josiah. "Baba Jamal, one of the Deputy General Secretaries of the party, is actually currently a student of Dr. Aryeh's at the Faculty of Law. Yet the Bagbin Committee claimed that they could not proceed because Dr. Aryeh was un-contactable. Meantime, the other Deputy General Secretary, Bede Ziedeng, carried out two astonishing acts.

First, he publicly claimed that Dr. Aryeh, whom he had not seen for nearly a year, had assaulted him. Second, he actually appeared before the Bagbin Committee to give false testimony against his boss, claiming that his witness was in Germany. How the Bagbin Committee called and took the evidence of a man with no personal knowledge of the transaction involving Owoo remains a mystery to legal experts. Ziedeng claimed that Dr. Aryeh had stated in Germany that his strategy for election 2004 would be to throw a bomb.

In a strange subversion of values, Ziedeng also drafted a one-page NDC statement full of falsehood against his superior. He further argued that even though the Bagbin Committee concluded that Owoo is an NPP member, no evidence whatsoever was given for this, and even more importantly neither Owoo nor any member of the NPP was contacted by the Committee to verify this categorical claim. "Again, the report is said to be completely silent on the alleged gift of money.

Although the report claims to be based partly on the Constitution of Ghana, no part of the Constitution is actually relied upon in making the various findings. In fact, the human rights chapter of the Constitution of Ghana makes it illegal to record private conversations. According to article 18(2) "no person shall be subjected to interference with the privacy of his home, property, correspondence or communication…" "The general law also frowns on the invasion of privacy. Yet nowhere does the report recognise these.

Instead, it talks about an 'illicit relationship' with Owoo and three others. When did it become illegal to have private friends; nor is it necessary check the political affiliation of everyone we deal with privately. The Committee does not state which law or regulation makes it 'illicit' to relate to ordinary human beings. If the Committee's own logic were valid, Bagbin himself would have no basis for relating to any member of the ruling Party in Parliament."

The Odododiodoo activist, in the statement, went to town on the elements, accusing them of acting out of ethnic considerations, subjectivity, interest politics as well as sheer wickedness and other such vices, which "are all at play in the various NDC conspiracies". From his point of view, Bagbin pushed buttons to make it easy for him Bagbin to ease the emergence of his friend from the Upper West Region into the position of General Secretary of the NDC, even if it means illegality.

He was also surprised how a lawmaker should allow so many irrelevant considerations to permeate his thoughts to result in such ineptitude in drawing up a report. Any party member of sound mind would be completely baffled by the lies, distortions and mayhem within the NDC and that, according to him, was the reason behind the threat to sort things out in a court of law, warning that with the General Secretary prevented from convening the congress, any transaction at that congress will be equally illegal.

He also alluded to a "defamatory statement issued by the Functional Executive of the NDC sometime ago in the Daily Graphic, and hoped that Aryeh would himself go to court, probably after the Congress.

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