The New Crusading GUIDE has intercepted some documents which clearly outlined why the National Executive Committee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) last Thursday handed down an indefinite suspension on Messrs Kwabena Agyei Agyepong and Sammy Crabbe from their positions of General Secretary and 2nd National Vice Chairman of the party.
Contrary to some misconceptions held by a section of the public that the duo were suspended as a result of expressing dissenting views, documents intercepted by this paper indicate that the two National officers were suspended based on charges of disregard for decisions taken by the NEC, taking of unilateral decisions, award of contract of printing of new NPP membership cards, interference in constituency primaries, waivers among others.
Jurisdiction Of Committee
The Committee considered its jurisdiction under Article 4.3 (c) of the Party’s Constitution (the Constitution) which states:
“National Disciplinary Committee shall have jurisdiction in all matters affecting discipline at the national level with respect to National Executive Officers and key members of the Party including Members of Parliament, Patrons, Founding Members, Standing Committee Members and National Officers as well as others who may be referred to the National Disciplinary Committee by the National Executive Committee”.
The procedure for initiation or invoking disciplinary proceedings against a member of the Party is explicitly set out in article 4 (5) (a) of the NPP constitution. This provision stipulates that:
“Disciplinary proceedings may be initiated by a complaint in writing delivered to the Disciplinary Committee, in so far as the complaint relates to the affairs of the Party”
Article 4 (5) (e) also stipulates that:
‘A disciplinary committee shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person in the performance of his function’.
Allegations Against Kwabena AGyepong:
Count 1: Disregarding NEC’s Decision
The Committee finds Mr. Agyepong (KAA) liable. He had held out Mr. Davis Opoku Ansah (OPK) as his Special Assistant or Spokesman. His association with the gentleman is well known. KAA should have publicly disclaimed the statement. He did not do so and should accept the consequences of what his Agent is supposed to have said on his behalf. The statement gave the NPP bad press and KAA did not counteract.
Whereas the NEC had suspended Mr. Afoko, KAA could have quietly advised Mr. Afoko to stay away at the EC event. He did not do so. He facilitated Mr. Afoko’s contradictory presence by giving him the official party tag etc. he is accordingly liable and should be sanctioned.
Count 2 Utterances, Media etc
We observe with a heavy heart that under the management of the Present General Secretary (GS), the utterances of the GS and bad media publicity have hurt and continue to hurt the party. The witnesses strongly echoed this. They were fully of the impression that the GS was not out to help the flagbearer achieve the ultimate for the party. The evidence is saddening. We are of the view that the GS should be sanctioned accordingly.
Count 3 Waivers
On the testimonies of the petitioners and the GS as well as the comments from the NEC members among us plus the documentation given to us from Greater Accra, together with the decision of National Council and NEC, the GS should not have taken things mainly by himself. Let this be a lesson for the future. Applications for exemption should come from bottom-up and not top to bottom.
In Greater Accra, protest erupted because they felt Head Office was imposing the decision on them. Why give a former MP exemption (a lawyer) to compete a sitting MP? Hatred, suspicion ensued. Why give a former national officer exemption to fight a sitting MP? Up to now, the full list of exemptions etc is not known.
The fact that National Council and NEC decisions were not followed and the GS operated on his discretion, plus the unnecessary bad blood this created, render the GS liable on this Count.
Count 4 Interference with Constituency Primaries
There is doubt that if certain matters relating to qualification of candidates and attendant controversies had been left to due process as well as the Constitutional and Legal Committee, a lot of problems would not have gone hay wide.
The GS decided he had ample discretion. Adansi Asokwa, Manhyia North etc became unduly messy and the GS must accept the responsibility.
Count 5 Party Membership Cards
The Committee said after its investigations regarding “it was obvious that Mr. Crabbe did not tell the GS everything. The GS said before us he did not know of Crabbe’s connection with the scheme. Mr. Arthur played a tape before the GS where GS approved the Paymanex scheme and told people to sponsor it. Indeed at one stage the GS told us he was forced to be at the launching because Mr. Afoko asked him to be there. The GS insisted the matter was exclusively the prerogative of the Chairman. It is clear that it should not have been so.
The false impression given under Chairman Afoko relating to the card and fundraising is only the business of the National Chairman and the Finance Committee should not be allowed to stand in the NPP.
NPP Members have for several months known of the controversy which raged on the matter because Messrs. Afoko, Crabbe and Agyapong have held on to their viewpoint. This means neither the Steering Committee nor NEC had power/control over the matter. They would not even resort to National Council to resolve the matter.
Count 6:Alleged Hatred for the Flagbearer
It is very sad that such a charge should arise at all in the NPP. But the exchange between Iddisu Musa and the GS is instructive. The comments made in the office of our GS by a man who appears to have a pathological hatred for the NPP flagbearer as well as the GS asking the flagbearer’s picture to be taken off the wall of the adjoin office to the GS office makes one shudder. Mr. Iddrisu Musa left the office on that count and never returned.
Incidentally, during cross examination, the GS initially sought to create the impression that the incident happened before the election of the flagbearer. That failed as the chronology was clarified by Musa. GS then said it was his intention that they had to wait till a nice picture was brought. This is part of the attitudinal posture which has apparently caused much trouble and the GS should hold himself to blame.
Count 7 Relationship with NDC/ Nana Poku/ Wife’s Scholarship/Land Cruiser
We have taken note of the depth of the suspicion. It is also clear that Mrs. Agyepong is NOT on Ghana Government Scholarship as Mr. Arthur was worried about. She is officially being sponsored by Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ). Nevertheless, Mr. Agyepong testifies GIJ has only refunded one year fees out of three years spent by the family. This should put a lot of pressure on the family, apart from living and other expenses.
“In all fairness to the GS, he brought a receipt of part payment from Sterling Motors on the Land Cruiser he bought and is paying for by installments. The detailed receipts showed the following: 30th May 2014 - &30,000.00; 14th July, 2014 - $5,000.00; 29th July 2014 - $8,000.00; 7th October, 2014 - $15, 000.00. Total cost is $102,000. The receipt he produced was observed as having no official stamp. Balance of $44, 000.00 remains”.
“These aspects actually require further investigations. Meanwhile it is noteworthy that orgainsations will not allow Chief Executives to be so heavily indebted to outsiders. It is not regarded in the corporate world as healthy. The GS has repeatedly said he is not paid by the Party. No matter what happens in the future, the NPP should pay a decent salary to him. This should also be a lesson for the future. Indeed some experts have recommended a full time Executive head on career basis for the party”, the Committee recommended.
Allegations Against Sammy Crabbe
There were two basic charges against Sammy Crabbe which were his open disregard for the decision of NEC to suspend Mr. Paul Afoko as the National Chairman and the production of party cards and creation of party website. It would be recalled that Mr. Crabbe refused to appear before the Committee to answer charges against him after he had written a letter to the party to challenge the legal basis of the hearing.
Disregard for NEC
Mr. Boye said he called him (Mr. Crabbe) that his language is not good and he called him again. He listened to him on radio and also has him on tape (copy attached) and thinks he does not deserve to be an executive member of the Party. According to Mr. Crabbe, recognizing Mr. Freddie Blay as the Acting Chairman is like recognizing a coup d’état. He also said he will never be part of a meeting chaired by Mr. Freddie Blay. He said, “I support the call to reinstate Afoko” on Star FM.
Denouncing the Party’s suspension of Afoko on Adom FM, he said, “I will not be surprised if I am suspended”, indicating that he was ready for it, supporting the suspended Mr. Afoko. He also said, “I will never attend a meeting called by Freddie Blay. There is nothing like Acting Chairman in the constitution. This is gross disrespect of the Party Elders etc. Why not use the appropriate channels? This allowed people (NDC) to damn us”.
Party Card/Website issue
The website of the NPP was created in 2013, before he was elected. The name of the website and the registrant’s name do not match. The name of the website is NPP. The registrant’s name is Sandra Crabbe. When you check on airtel, the person who owns the airtel number provided: (+233 2622311554) is Bridgette Aikins but Sammy Crabbe‘s name comes up when you log in. This may indicate he was using the website for his personal gains or activities.
Mrs. Mann- Dedey
He did a website for Greater Accra around 2011 and before 2012 elections for fundraising meant for the party. I was there when he called me saying there was money and we should take it into the Party’s account but a chunk of money went into a particular account over (GHC100, 000.00.) We had then had the elections and the Party had lost. Party agents were not paid. I am sure the money went into his own account. Nobody knew what happened to that money and the nature of the account. He was Regional Chairman then and till today, neither the full detail, duly audited nor the of the money was ever given. This should not happen again.
The committee finds that by the evidence of the two complainants namely, 2nd Vice Chairman Sammy Crabbe is in breach of his duties as a vice Chairman of the Party.
Meanwhile, the NPP says the suspension of the three National Officers, though unprecedented in the annals of its history, had nothing to do with the perceived factions in the party.
“Some commentaries have also sought to paint the suspensions as some Akufo Addo faction against some Allan Kyeremanten faction. This commentary is dubious. Messrs Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyepong and Sammy Crabbe have all made several public statements pledging support for Nana Akufo Addo and on their resolve and determination to work for Akufo Addo's victory” stated the Communications Director of the NPP in a release issued yesterday(Sunday, 13th December, 2015).
Nana Akomea added that “Indeed Mr. Allan Kyeremanten himself has been standing shoulder to shoulder with Nana Akufo Addo in campaign 2016. We all saw Mr. Kyeremanten's work in the Talensi by election, during Nana Akufo Addo's 'rise and build' tour and currently in the Amenfi West by election campaign”
He reiterated that the party was focused on prosecuting a campaign for change 2016.
“The unanimous decisions at the national Disciplinary Committee, the National Executive Committee and the near unanimity at the National Council level, indicate clearly the party's conviction that these disciplinary actions are best for the party at this time”, added Nana Akomea.
Members of the Disciplinary Committee of the party consists of Most Rev. Dr. Samuel Asante Antwi (Chairman), Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor, Mad. Ama Busia ,Hon. Prof. Mike Oquaye, Hon. Gifty E. Kusi, and Alhaji Abubakar Abdul Rahman.
Source: New Crusading Guide
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