Court Okays Congress

Paul Afoko, NPP Chairman
The Application by David Hoezame, a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to halt the party’s Special Delegates’ Congress scheduled for Sunday, August 31, was yesterday dismissed by an Accra Fast Track High Court with a cost of GH¢2,000 slapped on him.

This leaves the party with no legal impediment on its way as its members and executives get ready to go to congress to prune down the aspirants from seven to five, after the initial attempt to restrain it and its Chairman, Paul Afoko, from going to Congress.

The court had dismissed a similar application initiated by Hoezame, former Chairman of Central Tongu constituency in the Volta Region, to restrain the party from vetting the aspirants.

The presiding judge, Justice K A Ofori- Atta, had on Thursday ordered that Hoezame and his counsel be served to appear in court yesterday after counsel for the NPP had applied to have the matterdetermined yesterday to enable the party go to Congress on Sunday.

Both the plaintiff and the applicant failed to appear, even though there was evidence of service. Justice Ofori-Atta observed that the plaintiff had not exhausted the internal mechanisms put in place by the party for aggrieved members to seek redress.

According to him, Hoezame should have exhausted all avenues of redress before heading to court.

The judge explained that on the balance of probability, the plaintiff had failed to convince the court that the balance was in his favour, adding that Hoezame had failed to specify which areas of his right would be infringed if the party went ahead with the congress.

He consequently dismissed the application and slammed Hoezame with cost of GH¢2,000 and an additional GH¢1,000 against him for failing to appear in court.

The cost was arrived at after a submission by Godfred Yeboah- Dame, counsel for the NPP, that costs should be awarded against the plaintiff to serve as a deterrent to anybody in the party who would rush to court without first of all seeking redress using avenues within the party.

He said Hoezame did not follow the laid-down procedure within the party and just headed to court.

The court, presided over by the same judge, last week dismissed a motion for interlocutory injunction on the party in respect of its Congress on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to disclose to the court what specific right of his would be infringed if the application was refused.

The trial judge dismissed Hoezame’s motion saying he had failed to demonstrate to the court what specific right of his would be abused.

The NPP was represented by Prof. Mike Oquaye, Chairman of the Party’s Constitutional and Legal Committee; Mike Oquaye Jnr; Godfred Yeboah-Dame and Andy Appiah- Kubi.

BY Fidelia Achama

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