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Court adjourns Afoko trial to June 1

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Paul Afoko
Paul Afoko

Mr Paul Afoko, the suspended New Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman, has told an Accra Human Rights Court that appointment of all standing committees of the National Council (NC) is done by the Council.

He said it is not stated explicitly in the constitution but the Disciplinary Committee is the one that has its membership from various bodies.

Mr Afoko, while answering questions from the defence counsel in a suit he filed at an Accra Human Rights Court challenging his suspension by the party.

He said he was relying on the constitution of the party to illustrate the point, adding that just as the document does not state that members of the DC shall be appointed by the NC, so is it in the case of the standing committees.

Counsel for the defendants, Mr Godwin Odame asked whether part of the minutes he attached to his statement were list of names in respect to the meetings allegedly held to approve the DC members, he answered in the affirmative.

Mr Afoko explained that the list was presented to the DC as approved by then NC, and he, Mr Afoko also had the power to appoint members onto the DC, on his authority as the national chairman, subject to the approval of the NC.

“The NC has the power to accept or reject and therefore all appointments are put before it.”

Mr Odame asked: “Your list, which you claimed satisfied the constitutional provision is actually contrary to the segment that two women should be on the committee?

Mr Afoko answered that yes, the NC did not adhere strictly to the provisions, therefore if it was to be rectified, it was for the NC to do so.”

He noted that the list was not his list, but it was the list that was approved by the NC so he considered it as a duly constituted DC, even though the list was flawed regarding the presence of two women on the DC.

When asked whether his claim that the NC is the appointing authority for members of the DC was just his own conjecture and not backed by the constitution, he said the constitution, is a whole document in its entirety and it stands to reason that the NC is the appointing authority with respect to how the regional and constituency DC are appointed.

Counsel for the Defendants is to continue with cross examination on June 1.

At the last sitting the defence counsel continued cross examination of Mr Afoko, after he submitted his witness statement to the court.

Mr Afoko is challenging his indefinite suspension from the party, arguing it was illegal. The NPP’s National Executive Committee suspended him in October 2015 for “misconduct.”

According to him, the action and processes leading to his suspension by some elements of the party were unconstitutional and a breach of natural justice.

The decision was adopted by the party’s National Council which is the second highest decision making body of the party after congress but he maintained the party erred in the decision.

Source: GNA

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