Impeccable information from the Vetting Committee of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), reveals the party has paid an amount of Seventeen Pounds Sterling to the United Kingdom (UK) Home Affairs to furnish it with records on aspiring National Chairman, Paul Afoko’s alleged involvement in a narcotic drug related case which sent him to jail.
According to the reports from the NPP National Headquarters in Asylum Down-Accra, some party stalwarts, who are in the UK visiting the twice defeated presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, paid the fees on behalf of the party.
The Herald’s scouts in the UK, gave hints of the payment of the fees to the UK Home Affairs Department, yesterday.
Even though, Mr. Afoko has denied the claims of his jail term in the UK over a drug related case, the party has put the vetting of Mr. Afoko on hold, pending the release of the jail records from the UK Home Affairs.
Other reports from the NPP outlets say, Mr. Afoko did not go to jail in the UK, but was rather admitted to a drug rehabilitation center in UK and was visited by lots of people including, key members of the NPP, some of who have started revealing these secrets.
The Herald has learnt that the Vetting Committee, chaired by C. K. Tedem is anxiously waiting for the UK Home Affairs Office.
Other members of the Committee are, Rev. Dr Asante Antwi, Dr. Adjei Bawuah, Brig. Gen. Joesph Odei (rtd) and Kwabena Sarpong, Madam Cecilia Dapaah, Mrs. Catherine Afeku, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, and Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah.
Despite putting his vetting on ice, Mr. Afoko, has not given up. He is still in the hinterlands vigorously canvassing for votes together with members of his campaign team.
Meanwhile, a statement released by Mr. Afoko said, some NPP people want to smear him with dirt since his vetting last Thursday, February 13, 2014.
The statement said, “Many of them felt very unpleasant, but l do not want to dwell on them as I am focused on my campaign and addressing these same issues with the real owners of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) i.e. the Delegates”.
“In deciding to join the race to be the National Chairman of the NPP, I expected that as in every contest some heat will be generated, but I did not think that people will unashamedly lie, fabricate and publicize stories they know are not true about me all in the name of the contest”.
“I am sad that the very things that we as a party have always accused our opponents of doing, i.e. lying against our leaders and falsely accusing them, today we are doing these same things against ourselves only because some people want to stop others from contesting in our internal elections”, he said.
He went on “I have read with dismay some stories on a number of websites that suggest I Paul Afoko, is providing the media “with poisonous ammunition” that can be used against the party in the future”.
“Some other stories also suggest that I should not rely on the media to tell my side of the story but follow the laid down party channels for redress. I am a true party man and have always followed the rules of our party but I will not deny myself the opportunity to tell my side of the story especially so when it is now clear to all that some people are bent on taking me out of the contest through foul means”.
“While I agree that what is going on now with regard to the brouhaha surrounding my vetting could impact the NPP negatively in the future I must add that Mr. Afoko has no hand in that brouhaha and cannot be blamed for it”.
“If there is any one to blame then it should be those who hurriedly cooked up a ‘ghostly’ petition with no known author and confronted me with it without giving me the benefit of seeing the petition. They are the ones who should be blamed for the cacophony that has filled the airwaves since then”.
“If there is anyone to blame then it must be those who accepted hook, line and sinker an anonymous petition that is not backed by any shred of evidence and proceeded to ask me questions from that same petition and even suggested that the burden of proof is on me and not the petitioner.
“If anyone should be blamed for the poisonous ammunition, it must be those who have gone on various media platforms to continue to spew spurious and unfounded allegations against Paul Afoko all in a bid to destroy my campaign”.
“I want to use this opportunity to inform all NPP delegates, members and supporters of the party and the general public that some people in the NPP are very uncomfortable about the Chairmanship of Paul Afoko which is becoming a reality with each passing day and have therefore set an agenda to tarnish my reputation with a string of fabricated stories which they have prepared to unleash”.
“We are aware that many more allegations will be made and the media war will get even dirtier as the D-Day draws closer but Paul Afoko takes inspiration from the leaders of the NPP such as J. B. Danquah, President Kufuor and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who have all suffered such baseless allegations against them and held their own against their detractors”.
“We recall the baseless allegations that were made against our two-time Presidential Candidate Nana Addo in the run-up to the 2008 and 2012 general elections by our opponents. This time round these baseless allegations are coming from within against me Paul Afoko”.
“I wish to encourage all NPP Delegates, Members and Supporters of the party not to waver but stay focused and stand with Paul Afoko to bring the change and power that the NPP is looking for. I also wish to assure the party office workers some of whom are worried about job security under a Paul Afoko Chairmanship to calm down. They will continue to be very useful and respected members of the NPP family under my chairmanship”.
“I am confident the Vetting Committee will discharge its onerous duty without any blemish. I urge all NPP supporters to remain calm in order not to put the party’s name into disrepute”.