Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Court directs NDC, Kofi Adams to resolve differences

May 11, 2012 (Page 12) The Accra Fast Track High Court today ordered the suspended Deputy General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Kofi Adams and his party to resolve their differences. Although, parties in the dispute were not willing to go for arbitration, the court, presided over by Justice S. K. Asiedu, stamped its authority and ordered them to settle their differences. It also directed them to report the outcome of the arbitration on June 13, 2012. The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC suspended Mr. Adams on March 22, 2012 over an alleged plot in a leaked telephone conversation to run the party down in the upcoming December elections but Mr. Adams sued the party and prayed the court to declare his suspension null and void. Counsel for Mr. Adams, Mr. Stanley R. K. Ahorlu, expected the court to deliver its summary judgement in the matter at its sitting in Accra Thursday but he was disappointed when the court directed his client and the NDC to go for an out of court settlement. Mr. Ahorlu and counsel for the NDC, Mr. Samuel Cudjoe, had prayed the court to rule on the matter but the court ruled that it had observed the parties had not exhausted clauses for dispute resolution as spelt out in the NDC Constitution. According to the court, Section 7 sub-section 5 of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act gave it the authority to order disputing parties to arbitrate. The court said the NDC Constitution also gave feuding parties an alternative to resort to internal dispute resolution mechanisms. In this instance, the court held that it had found the parties did not exhaust the NDC dispute resolution mechanism. There was a hot exchange between the lawyers but the presiding judge brought them to order and informed them that nothing would stop the court from ensuring that due procedure was followed. In the substantive suit, Mr. Adams, who is also the Spokesperson for former President Jerry John Rawlings, is requesting the court to declare his suspension null and void because due process was not followed by the NEC. Mr Adams was suspended for allegedly planning to ensure that President Atta Mills does not win Election 2012, as allegedly captured on an audio recording. He was alleged to have noted on the said audio recording: “Atta Mills is not a person going to be president of this country after he finishes with first term. Whatever it takes for him to go to opposition we’ll do it.” He has, however, denied the voice being his and sued the party in which he is, among others, seeking a declaration from the court that his suspension from the NDC was a severe measure imposed by the defendant without due process and contrary to the rules of natural justice. Mr. Adams is also seeking a declaration that his suspension was void, inoperative and of no effect. He is also praying the court to award general damages and cost.

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