An Accra High Court has placed an interlocutory injunction on the newly formed Central Committee of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) pending the determination of a suit challenging its composition.
The court, presided over by Justice Mariama Sammo, also restrained the central committee, which is constituted by the party’s acting chairman and acting general secretary with participation from newly elected regional chairmen, from taking any decision regarding the party.
The Chairman of the Legal and Constitutional Committee of the party, Bright Akwetey, filed the action against its acting chairman and acting general secretary for allegedly flouting the laid-down rules in electing regional officers for the party.
The suit, which was jointly filed by Mr. Akwetey and the Central Regional Chairman of the party, Yaw Asamoah, said mechanisms, methods and the date and processes relating to the election of regional officers for each region are the responsibility of the central committee of the party which is properly constituted.
They are claiming that the acting Chairperson, Hajia Hamdatu Ibrahim Haruna, and the acting General Secretary, James Kobina Bomfeh aka Kabila, in the conduct of the 2019 regional elections of the party ‘totally disregarded’ the constitution of the party and unlawfully assumed the conduct of the election of the regional officers and determined the dates of the respective regional elections without the approval of the central committee.
The plaintiffs claim that the defendants conducted the regional elections of the party without a credible, verifiable voters register approved by the central committee and most importantly without the mandatory supervision of the Electoral Commission, claiming that Mr. Bomfeh, in some instances, declared himself the returning officer and used open plastic bowls as ballot boxes.
They also alleged that the defendants used “various shadowy methods to determine the persons they wanted elected to the said positions, and manipulated and conducted the elections without the voters’ register compiled by the party’s regional executives.”
Besides, the suit averred that the method used by Hajia Hamdatu and Mr. Bomfeh attracted petitions from the Volta, Western, Upper West and Central regions, but the two ignored the petitions.
They claimed the two also opened a secret bank account in the name of the party at the High Street Branch of GCB and made themselves the sole signatories to the account, and the source of funds in the account was not disclosed or accounted to the Finance Committee of the party in contravention of the party’s constitution.
They said the defendants aggravated matters by ousting the 2016 elected regional chairpersons on the central committee through a text message after an emergency meeting organized by the two of them, thereby denying the chairpersons their constitutionally guaranteed four-year tenure.
They are also seeking an order restraining the central committee as constituted by Hajia Haruna and Mr. Bomfeh, with the participation of the newly elected regional chairmen from functioning and taking decisions on behalf of the party.
Again, they are seeking an order directing that the central committee as constituted after the 2016 elections be the central committee to take all decisions affecting the activities of the CPP until the final determination of the suit.
Meanwhile, the court has ordered the plaintiffs to file an undertaking to indemnify the respondents in damages for all legal costs in case it turns out at the end of the case that they were not entitled to the injunctive relief granted.