Today, 4th November 2015, the High Court presided over by Mr. Justice Arkaah-Boafo gave judgement dismissing the entire suit of Mr. Kyekyeku. He said the suit, indeed, was premature. That when people join a voluntary organisation, they must abide by the internal processes of the organisation they have freely joined. When those internal mechanisms have been fully exhausted, only then can a person seek redress in Court. The judge upheld the submissions of counsel for the NPP in the process.
Incidentally, a very vital aspect of the drama was the issue as to which lawyer actually represents the NPP. The Law Office of Mr. S.K Boafo appointed lawyers for the NPP from Kumasi on the written authority of Mr. Paul Afoko. Prof. Mike Oquaye vehemently opposed this verbally in open Court and said he (Prof. Oquaye) was the appropriate person to appoint lawyers together with the Constitutional and Legal Committee of the NPP, of which he was Chairman. The Court thereby struck out the Appearance that came from Lawyer Boafo’s office signed by Mr. Yaw Boafo. This was on the 27th October, 2015.
Today, 4th November, when the case came for Ruling, the Afoko-appointed lawyers came again with authorisation signed by Mr. Afoko. The Court refused their interventions and ruled against them.
Some issues arise:
Firstly, why will Mr. Afoko force to appoint lawyers for the NPP when the Constitutional and Legal Committee has done so since 1992 when the party was formed?
Secondly, why will Afoko force to appoint such lawyers when the suit has been filed by someone who stated plainly that he had filed the suit solely to protect the interest of Mr. Afoko?
Thirdly, the world should know that the lawyers appointed by Mr. Afoko (S.K. Boafo & Co.) only filed an appearance and at the material time FAILED to file an Affidavit in opposition to the Plaintiff’s Application for Injunction which was fixed to be heard on 27 October 2015. This was unprofessional, collusive strategy to allow an injunction to be obtained against a reputable party like the NPP in an unmeritorious suit and manner. The counter-instructions given by Prof. Oquaye and effected by Lawyer Dame saved the day. This is a very serious development.
Fourthly, why should Mr. Afoko force his way to intervene in the case when he knows clearly he has been suspended by the unanimous decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NPP?
Notably, at its meeting on Tuesday, 3rd November, the National Executive Committee and the National Council unanimously re-affirmed the authority of the Constitutional and Legal Committee as the sole organ in the Party to appoint lawyers for the Party. All suits must be referred to the committee as has always been done since 1992.
It goes without saying that Mr. Afoko should be advised to exhaust the internal remedies of the Party every step of the appeal to the National Council which he is entitled to do.
Finally, it should be a good piece of advice to all members of the party that it is settled law that unless they proceed to exhaust all remedies provided under the Party’s Constitution, they will fail in any Court of Law. There is ample settled law on the matter.
Could you imagine if this was otherwise? Politics is a competitive game with several opponents. If in a contest between Parties A and B, Party A secures some 100 people planted in Party B to bring frivolous suits nationwide and cause trouble and instability without recourse to internal remedies, can you imagine how damaging this could be? He/she who have ears to hear, let him/her hear!
Chairman, NPP Council of Elders