A legal expert has told the New Statesman that the legal suit against the New Patriotic Party, filed by David Hoezame, a former party Constituency Chairman in the Central Tongu constituency of the Volta Region, is dead on arrival.
Mr Hoezame, who filed a writ challenging the status of the party’s National Council as presently constituted, is praying an Accra High Court to compel the NPP to follow what he calls the procedure outlined the party’s constitution and re-compose its National Council.
Mr Hoezame, who describes himself as a fully paid up card bearing member of the NPP from ‘1992 up to and including 2014,’ and still a card bearing member of the party, claims the Paul Afoko-led executive has breached the NPP constitution by purporting to call for and take part in the deliberations of the National Council without reconstituting it after they were elected into office in April 2014.
Among others, he is seeking “A declaration that announcement of the 6th day of December, 2014 as date for the election of the 1st Defendant’s presidential candidate as Null and Void; an Order directed at the Defendants to restore the Constitution of 1st Defendant Party to its original state and to duly and properly set up the National Council in accordance with the provisions of the 1st Defendant’s Constitution; an Order Restraining the 2nd Defendant from further breach of the 1st Defendant’s Constitution; and Costs”.
However, a legal expert who spoke to the New Statesman yesterday explained that Mr. Hoezame had shot himself in the foot, by failing to read and understand the tenets of the NPP constitution he had quoted in his writ of summons.
According to the law professor, Article 3(D)(vii) of the NPP, under the “Duties of a Member”, states explicitly that “A member shall Not initiate, commence or prosecute any legal proceedings whatsoever against the party or any other member of the Party relating to party affairs, without first having exhausted the grievance procedure laid down in this Constitution in respect of grievances against the Party or any other member.”
“From my checks in the party, and from the Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Hoezame has not even made an appearance at the Disciplinary Committee of the party, and can therefore not be said to have exhausted the grievance procedure of the party as laid down in the constitution of the party,” the law professor stated.
He continued: “Therefore Mr. Hoezame asking the court to rule in his favour on the basis of the NPP’s constitution must realise that he is not properly before the court because he has not exhausted the party’s grievance procedure. That is why I am saying that his suit is dead on arrival.”
Details of Writ
Mr. Hoezame states that he has acted as a constituency chairman of the NPP and is aspiring to be elected to serve on the National Council of the NPP, but has been waiting in vain for the Notice of Poll to enable him put himself up for election to be elected a Regional Representative.
However, he was informed that a meeting had been held by a body purporting to be the party’s National Council, and insists this was in breach of the NPP constitution, thereby jeopardizing his determination to contest the election.
“It is the case of the Plaintiff that on/or around the 9th of day of June, 2014 the 2nd Defendant (NPP Chairman) and other officers of the 1st Defendant (NPP) announced 6th December, 2014 as the date for the election of a presidential candidate for the 1st defendant.
“Plaintiff further avers that the 2nd defendant in concert with other officers of the 1st Defendant has called for a National Council meeting on the 19th of June, 2014 to among others take a decision on the organization of an election to choose the 1st Defendant’s presidential candidate for the 2016 General Elections…
However, “Plaintiff avers that as at date hereof the 1st Defendant has no national Council since there has not been any process in accordance with Article 7(15)(iv) to elect regional representatives to serve on the said National Council of the 1st Defendant Party…
“Wherefore Plaintiff claims against the 1st and 2nd Defendants Jointly and Severally as follows:
(i) “A declaration that announcement of the 6th day of December, 2014 as date for the election of the 1st Defendant’s presidential candidate as Null and Void;
(ii) An Order directed at the Defendants to restore the Constitution of 1st Defendant Party to its original state and to duly and properly set up the National Council in accordance with the provisions of the 1st Defendant’s Constitution.
(iii) An Order Restraining the 2nd Defendant from further breach of the 1st Defendant’s Constitution.