Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kofi Adams, NDC back to court

June 14, 2012 (Page 14)- An out of court settlement of a dispute between the suspended Deputy General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Kofi Adams and his party has failed. The Accra Fast Track High Court presided over by Mr. Justice S. K. Asiedu on May 10, 2012 ordered Mr. Adams and the party to settle their differences and report back to the court yesterday, June 13, 2012. However, parties in the matter informed the court at its sitting in Accra yesterday that they could not settle the matter and for that reason the court should proceed with hearing of the suit filed against the party. Counsel for Mr. Adams, Mr. Stanley R. K. Ahorlu, told the court that efforts to settle the dispute had been unsuccessful and further stated that a notice of appeal filed by Mr. Adams against the court’s order had been withdrawn. Replying, lawyer for the NDC, Mr. Samuel Cudjoe said he was not aware Mr. Adams had withdrawn the notice of appeal. He said the NDC was a peaceful party which wanted its estranged members including Mr. Adams back into its fold. Mr. Justice Asiedu said he was not aware Mr. Adams had withdrawn his appeal and accordingly urged him to notify the registrar of the Court of Appeal of his decision to discontinue the appeal. The matter was adjourned to June 27, 2012. Although, parties in the dispute were not willing to go for arbitration, the court, on May 10, 2012 stamped its authority and ordered them to settle their differences. 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. 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 as null and void. 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 the 2012 elections, 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 his 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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