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Politics of Friday, 15 April 2016

Source: GNA

Vicky Bright slams NPP’s inability to sanction Ahmed Arthur

Ms Vicky Bright is a lawyer and member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)Ms Vicky Bright is a lawyer and member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)

Ms Vicky Bright, a lawyer and member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has expressed dissatisfaction with the silence of the party regarding appeals to sanction Ahmed Arthur, the parliamentary candidate for Okai Koi South.

She said so far she has sent five petitions asking the party to disqualify Mr Arthur as the party’s parliamentary candidate for Election 2016 due to a number of irregularities she brought against the contender.

In her latest petition she said: “I’ve sent several petitions to the party and none has been responded to. This is a great discourtesy to a significant and loyal party member and a clear reflection of deep-rooted bias.”

“There is clearly a prevailing culture of favouritism in the party. My latest petition sent on April 7, 2016 is still awaiting a response.”

She said the petition was triggered by the party's attitude towards Ablekuma West and Manhyia North in direct contrast to her treatment.

This is in spite of the fact that in the national elections committee of the party had declared the album to be seriously flawed and cannot be relied on.

Ms Bright said personal grudges and small mindedness on the part of certain individuals filled with their own personal agenda are clearly at play in the case.

“In Ablekuma South there was an issue of a bogus register, yet the party has chosen not to act or implement clear decisions, which have been made to resolve the problems in my constituency. The people who Ahmed Arthur removed from the voter register are presently in court with the party and himself.”
Ms Bright is calling for the immediate suspension of Arthur from the NPP and the enforcement of the findings of the Ambrose Derry Report, which was subsequently adopted and ratified by the National Executive Council and a declaration that the vetting of Arthur as a Parliamentary Aspirant is null and void.

In a writ of summons filed on her behalf by her counsel, at an Accra High Court Thaddeus Sory, she said the constituency primary was also conducted in gross violation of NPP rules.

The plaintiff averred that on May 23, 2011, Madam Vivian Addae, then Constituency Chairman, petitioned that Ahmed made false declarations in his nomination forms to enable him contest the 2012 primary, adding that he had completed short courses in Public Relations, Management and Journalism at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

The petition was sent to the party’s General Secretary, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, Flag bearer, Chairman of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Director of Elections and Research and C.K Tedam, (Esquire), Chairman National Council of Elders.

She said it does not bode well and truly ought not to be left unpunished by the current leadership the disrepute in the constituency, which is likely to cause deeper voter apathy, adding “no doubt such mishaps shall affect its fortunes and place the NPP in jeopardy”.

The petition said: “Presently as I write, our majority in the elections has consistently dropped from more than 20,000 a few years back to just around 9,000 in the 2012 elections. Ironically the voter population in the same period has grown exponentially.”

She called for robust action from the NPP hierarchy, adding:” With utmost respect the party must take swift remedial action now”.

“Clearly, our party is either on the expected path to victory or on the brink of self-immolation. Its destiny is in its own hands, as we target victory in 2016 but that calls for positive action and cleansing of dead wood.

“Changing our fortunes going forward is manifestly a matter of course, to maintain credible support nationwide enjoins far greater robustness of action; particularly from its elected leaders.
The suit at the high court said: "An investigative steering committee set up on June 6, 2011, found that Mr Ahmed, the first defendant, made a false declaration in paragraph 12 of his nomination form, dated March 2, 2011, and was accordingly disqualified.

On June 29, 2011, the committee’s decision was endorsed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NPP, which decided a re-run of the primary. The plaintiff said in a bizarre twist, however, the then National Chairman of the NPP wrote to the party’s regional chairman to inform him that the defendant had decided to appeal his disqualification.

In a letter dated September 28, 2011, the NPP’s General Secretary wrote to inform NEC that it had upheld Ahmed’s appeal with the effect that he was the parliamentary candidate. This, the plaintiff said, was a violation of NPP’s eligibility rules and usurped NEC powers.

Ms Bright said Ahmed was also allowed to contest the 2016 parliamentary elections, although he admitted his false declaration set out in his nomination forms. She said prior to the 2016 primary, some constituents commenced legal proceedings to restraint the conduct of the election.

Ms Bright said despite the dependency of the application for an order of interlocutory injunction, which was given widespread publicity, many were of the view that the primary would not be held on July 25, 2015.

She said, be that as it may, the application for interlocutory injunction was dismissed, but rather bizarrely on Saturday, August 1, 2015, the General Secretary of the NPP signed a release, declaring that the contest should take place on Sunday August 2, 2015.

Ms Bright said the move was clearly arbitrary, unlawful and usurpation of the mandate of the Parliamentary Elections Committee (PEC) of the constituency, governing the conduct of the contest.

She said the voters register used for the election was not the one certified by PEC and submitted to the Electoral Commission.