Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, August 07, 2017
Beleaguered General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Atik Mohammed, is fighting back to reclaim his position after he was suspended indefinitely by the party recently.
He has caused his lawyers to write to the party, arguing that the decision to suspend him was ultra vires.
A news release issued in Accra recently by Emmanuel Wilson Jnr, the PNC Director of Communications, had said that the decision to suspend Atik indefinitely was taken at a crucial meeting by the National Executive Committee (NEC) - which is the second highest decision-making body - on Saturday, July 22.
The release had said Atik was suspended indefinitely “as a result of lack of efficiency and dereliction of duties.” He party agreed further that Atik’s deputy, Jacob Amoako, should “assume the role of acting General Secretary with immediate effect.”
But Atik is fighting back through his lawyers, A-Partners @ Law, saying, “We start by stating categorically that the decision by a few members of the party’s NEC to indulge in the action purporting to suspend our client was/is completely alien to the PNC Constitution and due process of law generally.”
According to the lawyers, neither had Atik been charged with any offence nor was the said meeting a disciplinary panel.
“The party leader’s individual unilateral attempt in the middle of the said meeting to suddenly and illegally alter the advertised and adopted agenda eventually saw the General Secretary, National Chairman, and others leave the said meeting in protest,” the lawyers indicated.
According to Atik’s lawyers, per Article 67 (3) (a) of the PNC Constitution, “an action impugning the propriety of the conduct of a member ought to commence by a petition to the National Disciplinary Committee and not to the NEC.”
They said in Article 67 (3) (c) of the PNC Constitution, it was the National Disciplinary Committee and not the NEC that is empowered to determine a member’s guilt and issue an order for indefinite suspension.
The lawyers further said the NEC has appellate and not original jurisdiction in such matter as spelt out in Article 67 (4) and added that the PNC elders are supposed to be the appellate body under Article 48 (d).
Atik’s lawyers said there was no complaint/petition against their client to the appropriate body and no charges, response or hearing against him either.
“Consequently, the purported actions were/are not only ultra vires on two separate levels, but such an egregious assault of the PNC Constitution, due process, good conscience and our client’s rights that same be given any regard whatsoever by our client,” according to the lawyers.
At the said NEC meeting, the party had also unanimously affirmed Dr. Edward Nasigre Mahama, who was their flag bearer in the December 2017 presidential election as its leader.
The party further served warning to its National Chairman to desist from calling himself the leader following the defeat of Dr Mahama in the 2016 polls.
“The party’s Chairman, Bernard Monarh, should continue in the capacity as Chairman but must recognize henceforth, the authority of the leader in his execution of duties as National Chairman.”
The party supported the recent appointment of Dr. Mahama as Ambassador at Large by President Akufo-Addo when it said in the release that “NEC congratulates H.E. Dr. Edward Mahama on his appointment as Ambassador at Large by the President of the Republic of Ghana.”