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Politics of Thursday, 11 September 2014


NPP infighting: Ayikoi Otoo jabs Mike Ocquaye

Former Chairman of the constitutional and legal committee of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, has accused his successor, Prof Mike Ocquaye, of doing the bidding of one of the factions within the party, as far as a recent rumpus over certain changes effected within the NPP’s administration is concerned.

In a legal opinion of the Ocquaye-chaired Committee regarding the legality of a directive by the party’s Chairman and General Secretary ordering the Directors of Communication and Finance to go on compulsory leave, the Committee described the action as “improper” and an “anomaly” and thus called for the reinstatement of the two officers.

However, Ayikoi Otoo told private FM station, Citi, Wednesday that: “This is unsolicited opinion meant to serve one of the factions”.

The former Attorney General condemned what he perceived as Prof Ocquaye’s bias in the whole affair.

Chairman Paul Afoko and Secretary Kwabena Agyepong, weeks ago, asked Perry Okudzeto and Opare Hammond, to vacate office for an interim – a situation which sparked controversy in the party.

They also appointed some Deputy Communication Directors. However, an investigative committee, which probed the entire affair, has described the new appointments as “unconstitutional”.

The report said Article 9 F (ii) of the NPP’s constitution, “in explicit terms, vests the National Executive Committee NEC with the power/discretion to appoint personnel of the National Secretariat, apart from the General Secretary and National Organiser who are elected by the National Delegates Conference”.

It stipulates thus: “The National Secretariat shall consist of the General Secretary, the National Organiser, the Director of Finance, the Director of Communications, the Director of Campaign Strategy and such other personnel as the National Executive Committee may appoint”.

“It is beyond controversy that if Deputy Communication Directors are part of the Secretariat then NEC has the sole prerogative of appointing them. This is clear. Nowhere is the General Secretary or any other officer or organ of the Party given the power to appoint such personnel. Indeed, for the sake of emphasis and to avert future controversy, it is hereby stated that only NEC has the power to appoint all other personnel of the Secretariat.

“It follows from the foregoing that the recent appointment of Deputy Communications Directors is unconstitutional, to the extent that same was without the blessing of the NEC. The General Secretary is humbly requested to reverse them for due process to be followed”, the report noted.

As far as the proceed-on-leave directive is concerned, the report said: “This apparently was without any consultation of the NEC or its Steering Committee. The Committee respectfully considers this an anomaly. In the light of the provisions of the Constitution referred to above, which enjoins collaboration between the General Secretary and the Steering Committee/NEC, as well as the fact that the Steering Committee is responsible for the daily management of the affairs of the party, the Committee finds the directive given by the General Secretary for those officers of the Party to proceed on leave, improper”.

Agyepong, in a counter statement, called on members of the party to disregard the Ocquaye-led Committee’s report and opinion.