The New Patriotic Party’s General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John has been sued in the Accra High Court for filing a statement containing false accounts of the Party’s expenditure in the 2012 elections, with the Electoral Commission.
The action was filed in the registry of the Accra High Court by Maxwell Afriyie and the Association of Executive Patriots on 8th April 2014. The Defendants are Sir John and the Electoral Commission, which is named as a nominal defendant in the suit.
The Plaintiffs are praying the Accra High Court to order the NPP’s general secretary to render full and proper accounts of the Party’s expenditure in the said election. The Plaintiffs state in the Statement of Claim that “The 1st Defendant [Sir John] failed to state the exact amounts of money received by the Party for the purposes of campaigning and that the amounts by the 1st Defendant are well below that received by the Party.”
The Statement of Claim further states that “The 1st Defendant’s failure to render proper accounts in the statement filed with the Electoral Commission is contrary to section 14 of the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574).” The Plaintiffs describe themselves as members of the Party whose interest in the Party may be affected should the 2nd Defendant discover the false accounting and decide to cancel the Party’s registration, which power the 2nd Defendant has under section 14.
Other reliefs sought by the Plaintiffs include an order compelling the 1st Defendant to refund monies he failed to account for. The Plaintiffs are also seeking a permanent injunction restraining Sir John from holding himself out as the General Secretary of the Party and from holding any executive position in the Party. Their claim for a permanent injunction is based on the fact that Sir John’s term of office expired as far back as February 2014 and that even though the National Council of the Party extended the terms of the incumbents, they did not have the power to do so.
This is an interesting development in view of the fact that the NPP is holding its Congress on April 12, 2014 to elect a new General Secretary. Sir John is hoping to be retained as the General Secretary of the Party but this new allegation is definitely going to affect Sir John’s chances in the upcoming election. It is suspected that the Plaintiffs will apply ex parte for an interlocutory injunction to restrain Sir John from participating in the upcoming election. According to legal experts, if Sir John defies the interlocutory injunction order, he may be hurled before the Accra High Court for contempt.
We are making enquiries at the Accra High Court’s registry to determine whether Sir John and the Electoral Commission have been served with this Writ.