UFP pending congress; Odike, 2 others restrained

Politics of Friday, 13 February 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Odike UFP 3

The Accra Fast-Track High Court, presided over by Mr Justice K. A Ofori Atta, has placed an interlocutory injunction on three persons of the United Front Party (UFP) and the Electoral Commission (EC) from holding elections to elect officers towards the forth coming general election.

They are the 2012 presidential candidate of the UFP, Mr Akwasi Addai, alias Odike; the party’s General Secretary, Mr Samuel Bekoe Owusu, and the Deputy General Secretary, Mr Razak Jojo Opoku.

The court has also restrained the three persons and the EC from interfering with the affairs of the UFP or having anything to do with the party.

It would be recalled that a faction of the party, led by the three persons, had set February 14, 2015 to organise the party’s national delegates congress at the Jubilee Park, Kumasi, to elect new party executives as well as the flag bearer to lead it to the December 2016 election.

But the Founder of the UFP, Nana Agyenim Boateng, had gone to court seeking an order to restrain the three from interfering in the party’s affairs or holding elections to elect officers for the upcoming general election.

The court ordered that “the defendants/respondents, whether by themselves, their servants, agents or privies be and are restrained from interfering with the affairs of the UFP or having anything to do with the UFP, especially organising a congress to select officers towards the forthcoming general election.”

The preamble of the letter sent ot court, a copy of which the Daily Graphic has, read: “We act as lawyers for and on behalf of the National Executives Committee (NEC) of the United Front Party (UFP).”

It said the party had not yet conducted its regional and national elections let alone the flag bearer election, and that the position of Mr Akwasi Addai as the 2016 flag bearer of the party was not tenable, and must be declared null and void.

The letter advised the EC not to allow its hard-won reputation to be dragged in the mud by allowing “these individuals to mislead” the EC “into supporting a cause which is unconstitutional and illegal.”

However, according to the GNA, Odike and the two had defended the conduct of the regional and national executive elections, saying it was proper and constitutional.

A statement issued by solicitors on behalf of the three said there was absolutely nothing wrong or unconstitutional about the opening of nominations and subsequent polls to pick new officers to run the affairs of the party.

Odike told the Daily Graphic that the UFP was looking up to the EC as the final arbiter to decide the appropriate date for its national congress, and that the party does not recognise Agyenim Boateng and his NEC.

Earlier, a statement issued by the party in Accra and signed by the acting National Chairman, Mr Stephen Forson, said the party had barred Mr Odike from holding any election, adding that the decision was taken after the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the UFP met in Accra recently to chart the way forward and resolve all outstanding issues.

Consequently, the current acting National Chairman, Mr Forson, resumed his former position as the First Vice Chairman of the party while Nana Agyenim Boateng was made to chair the party.

Two other personalities, Samuel Bekoe Owusu, the party’s General Secretary, and Kennedy Saku, National Youth Organiser, were also suspended indefinitely.

The NEC has also dismissed Mr Razak Kojo Opoku, Deputy General Secretary who was also suspended in 2012, “for aiding and abetting unconstitutional activities.” It would be recalled that the Kumasi Police arrested Odike for allegedly threatening to eliminate the founder of the party, Nana Agyenim Boateng, but Odike in an interview denied that he had been arrested.

The Kumasi Police, however, told the media that the 2012 presidential candidate of the UFP was under investigation for death threats.

Until the NEC decided the fate of Odike and the others, the party had issued a disclaimer on the three that anyone who dealt with them on party business or related business did so at their own risk.

According to Nana Agyenim Boateng, it came to the notice of the party that Odike in the company of the two had been moving from one region to the other to conduct elections without the knowledge and approval of the NEC.

He said the party was also surprised to receive information from the EC which showed that the UFP had scheduled Saturday, January 24, 2015, for its congress to elect national executives and declare Odike as the 2016 presidential candidate.

He explained that the then acting Chairman, Mr Stephen Forson, through his counsel, Lawyer Oliver Atsu Abada of the Abada, Dzeble and Co. Chambers, on January 19, 2015, wrote to the EC on the deep rift and standoff between the two in the UFP.