Cites Miscarriage Of Justice & Dirty Orchestrated Media Agenda
The dislodged general secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwabena Agyepong, has taken Accra-based Joy FM and the party’s Director of Communications, Nana Akomea, to the cleaners, saying they peddled naked “untruths” in their accounts of events, leading to his suspension from his duly elected position.
While, condemning the radio station for what his lawyers described as “unethical and unprofessional reportage”, Mr. Agyepong, stated that the NPP National Executive Council (NEC), denied him the opportunity to defend himself in the matters that led to his suspension, although he supplied all the evidence required of him in response to the claims brought against him.
This is his first comment, since he was sacked from his position by loyalists of the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, few days ago, in manner many party stalwarts have described as palace coup.
“I want to reiterate that, for the avoidance of doubt, I placed all the foregoing facts before the Disciplinary Committee during my encounter with them. I was asked to recuse myself during the subsequent NEC meeting and therefore was denied the opportunity to participate in the deliberations” he said, adding “I would to like state that the only purpose for putting out this statement is to correct the inaccuracies contained in the NPP communiqué of December 10 2015 and for no other purpose.”
On Joy FM, which he had dragged before the National Media Commission (NMC), the ex-Press Secretary to former President, John Kufuor, believes the radio station, has an agenda to ruin his reputation by soiling his image.
His lawyers; Korsah & Associates, have also written to the NMC saying “there has been consistent unethical and unprofessional reportage by Joy FM and Myjoyonline relating to issues concerning Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong since he became the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party”.
Mr. Agyepong’s lawyer went on “the unfortunate and a perfectly calculated ploy to dent Mr. Agyepong’s image has seen significant escalation recently. Joy FM and myjoyonline have constantly resorted to putting out palpable lies and concocted stories about the events in the New Patriotic Party especially issues in connection to Mr. Agyepong”.
The lawyers further revealed that “Mr. Agyepong has personally and through his aides complained to the producers and reporters of the respective media outlets under the management of Multimedia Broadcasting Group Ltd about the numerous false stories concerning his person but all his complains have fallen on deaf ears”.
In a statement he issued in Accra yesterday, Mr. Agyepong “thoroughly, comprehensively and honestly” shredded the Thursday, December 10, 2015 communiqué, Nana Akomea issued on the NEC meeting endorsing the Disciplinary Committee recommendation to indefinitely suspend him as General Secretary.
He stated that “After a detailed study and deep reflection on the communiqué, I wish to take this opportunity to repudiate and totally reject all of the reasons ascribed by the NPP for my suspension, especially any intended or unintended attempts to impugn my reputation and tarnish my good name”.
He took the NPP’s charges against him one after the other and proceeded to respond to them.
On his disregard for NEC decision on 23rd October, 2015, suspending Mr. Paul Afoko, he wrote; “the legality or otherwise of the NEC decision of 23rd October 2015, has been under judicial contention since the day it was taken. Indeed, it is now the subject of a formal law suit which is yet to be determined. As General Secretary, I had to make a judgment call on how my conduct will best uphold the letter and spirit of the Party’s constitution and the laws of Ghana which also bind the operations of all political parties in the country. This, I had made known earlier in a letter dated September 18, 2015 addressed to the Council of Elders and the National Disciplinary Committee. It is therefore my humble opinion that pending the determination of the current legal action, the charge of disregarding the NEC decision of 23rd October 2015 is at best unproven”.
That he made various public statements to cast the party in bad light, Mr. Agyepong rebutted; “I wish to state for the record that since September 2, 2015, when the Presidential Candidate called for a halt to all discussions of internal party issues in the media, I have not spoken in any shape or form that could be considered as putting the party in a bad light; whether by interview, press conference, response to personal attacks or on anyone’s behalf. I stand ready to have the above assertion be proved otherwise by concrete and verifiable evidence”.
That he engaged in unilateral actions and activities without consultation or authorization by the NEC, for instance writing to the Electoral
Commission designating only him and suspended Chairman Afoko as the only authorized signatories; the suspended General Secretary charged “this charge is untrue. I have not, repeat, NOT written any such letter to the Electoral Commission; which fact could have easily be verified”.
He explained that “the facts are as follows: Earlier this year, the Deputy General Secretary and some Regional Chairmen wrote to the Electoral Commission (EC). The EC response was that as per the laid down procedures of the Commission, and in accordance with the Political Parties Act 2000, communication to the Commission is done mainly through party’s General Secretaries.
The EC followed up its response with an instruction to all political parties reminding them that all correspondence between it the EC and political parties should be done through the General Secretary/Chairman. The EC further instructed that IPAC will from now on only admit three Representatives from each political party namely, the National Chairman, General Secretary and one other”.
On granting waivers to parliamentary aspirants, he also explained that “the granting of waivers to parliamentary aspirants who have shown commitment to the Party by General Secretaries of the NPP is a precedent established by previous occupants of the position. For example, in 2011, the incumbent General Secretary granted waivers to many including Anthony Karbo and Dr. Ayew Afriyie without recourse to NEC or the NPP’s Steering Committee. In my case, most of the waivers went to the Volta Region, at the request of the Regional Chairman, Mr. Peter Amewu; in constituencies where we have traditionally struggled to fill candidates.
In the case of Peter Mensah, the gentleman who suffered an acid attack in the course of duty as constituency organizer, I justifiably granted him a waiver after receiving the request from him and some executives of the Techiman North constituency. Development fees were waived for the following; former National Organizer Bamba; former MP Effah Dartey, former MP Mrs. Cecilia Amoah; as well as Dr. Ayew Afriyie who has supported the party through AFAG. The Steering Committee was accordingly informed. There is no record of protest or indeed any disciplinary action against any of my predecessors for the actions or their reasons for granting waivers which also followed past precedence. So obviously, this is ‘trumped up’ charge”.
On non-reference of legal matters to the proper legal Committee of the NPP, the suspended General Secretary stated that; “there are several past precedents where the party has acted outside of the constitutional committee in legal matters. For example, the immediate past administration instructed Madam Joyce Opoku Boateng to represent the party in court on the Manhyia, Kumawu and Juaben cases. The person assigned was NOT a member of the constitutional Committee neither was she appointed by same.
Perhaps it is important that we aver our mind to the historic election petition of 2013, which was not referred to the constitutional committee then headed by Hon. Ayikoi Otoo and the verifiable fact that none of the members of the constitutional committee, not even the Chairman, were on the Party’s legal team at the Supreme Court. It will be recalled that the composition of the Party’s legal team was decided on by the Presidential Candidate, National Chairman and General Secretary although it was the National Council that gave the green light to go to court
On interference with Constituency primaries against National Appeal Committee decisions and also, Court decisions he insisted that “this is blatantly untrue and can be easily verified. There is no evidence to support this assertion. Rather, it can be easily established, through reference to minutes that I passed on the report of the National Appeals committee to the Steering Committee and the National Executive Committee without any alteration whatsoever. Regrettably, this is another ‘trumped up’ charge without an iota of truth
On Misrepresentation/misleading of NEC on status of some constituency primaries, he responded that “at the NEC meeting held on the 3rd of December, 2015, the General Secretary solicited the views and response of members of NEC on this accusation of Misrepresenting / misleading of NEC on status of some constituency primaries which came from the Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, Hon. KT Hammond, who was also present in the meeting.
When the question was put to the house, none confirmed this allegation.
It is useful to recall that at the NEC meeting held on August 18, 2015 when the decision was taken on the primaries in Adansi Asokwa, it was both the Ashanti Regional Chairman and the 3rd National Vice Chairman, whose views persuaded the NEC to overturn the National Appeals Committee decision to disqualify aspirant Mr. Richard Anokye and uphold the earlier regional vetting committee decision to allow him to contest in the parliamentary primaries. Again the minutes of the were recorded and are available for verification”.
On the launched of party cards in conjunction with suspended Chairman Afoko and Sammy Crabbe without authorizations from NEC, he explained that Article 9 (5) 9a) of the NPP’s constitution enjoins the Party’s Finance Committee to raise funds to support the activities of the party. It states clearly that “It shall be the duty of the Finance Committee to raise funds necessary to finance the operations of the party in conformity with the applicable laws. It shall report on its activities to the National Chairperson.”
The Finance committee duly invited proposals and reviewed same from six companies. On a near unanimous vote, the committee accepted the proposal from Paymanex Limited. Subsequently, the Party Chairman approved the recommendation of the committee which led to the actions taken to launch the card. The NEC was duly informed.
I want to reiterate that, for the avoidance of doubt, I placed all the foregoing facts before the Disciplinary Committee during my encounter with them. I was asked to recuse myself during the subsequent NEC meeting and therefore was denied the opportunity to participate in the deliberations.
I would to like state that the only purpose for putting out this statement is to correct the inaccuracies contained in the NPP communiqué of December 10 2015 and for no other purpose.
I believe there is already an ongoing action which will clarify the merits or otherwise of the legality of the removal of officers elected by the supreme body of the party, i.e. The National Delegates Congress
My attention has also been drawn to a purported transcript of my encounter with the Disciplinary Committee of the NPP which was first published by myjoyonline.com. I wish to state categorically that I completely reject that doctored account which is only calculated to soil my good name through innuendos and aspersions.
I will deal separately and comprehensively with the allegations made in that false report and furnish all with a copy of the genuine minutes of the Disciplinary Committee as submitted to the NEC of the NPP.
My commitment, dedication and long standing service to this tradition is a matter of public record. As a loyal member of this party, I shall continue to offer my support and prayers in our quest for victory in 2016”.
On Joy, his lawyers stated the following as some of the instances which occasioned his petition to the NMC:
• On the 26th of May 2015, Myjoyonline without reference to the Office of the General Secretary of the NPP published a fake resignation letter attributed to Mr. Agyepong. Despite repeated denials the media house has kept the false story on their website.
• Both Joy Fm and myjoyonline had earlier in the month unethically recorded and published a story arising out of an off-record conversation with Mr. Evans Mensah a reporter who had called Mr. Agyepong to arrange an interview. The story sought to portray Mr. Agyepong as an irresponsible, disrespectful and cheeky person. Both Joy Fm and Myjoyonline used extracts from this private conversation to create a story by quoting Mr. Agyepong as follows “Tell them, I am eating fufu in Kumasi. I don’t know anything about this meeting” in a story with the headline ‘I had no knowledge of Steering Committee meeting – Kwabena Agyepong.
• On the 28th of October 2015, both Joy fm and Myjoyonline once again after an interview with Davis Opoku Ansah, aide to Mr. Agyepong deliberately and disingenuously crafted a story with the headline “Paul Afoko is still NPP national chairman – Kwabena Agyepong” quoting Mr. Agyepong and using his picture (see the attached story) which became the main grounds for the petition against Mr. Agyepong.
• On the 3rd of December 2015, a news article published on myjoyonline under the headline “Kwabena Agyapong faces possible suspension” stated among others that “the embattled General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Kwabena Agyepong had to recoil and apologize to the party’s Disciplinary Committee following a petition for his suspension” . No such thing happened when Mr. Agyepong appeared before the Disciplinary Committee as evidenced in the official report submitted to the National Executive Committee.
• Similarly, on 10th of December, 2015 under the heading “Hajia Fati ‘sweeps away’ Kwabena Agyepong, Sammy Crabbe after suspensions”, Myjoyonline and Joy Fm blatantly peddled falsehood that…. “He [Kwabena Agyepong] resort to begging for mercy” amongst other lies. This also never transpired during the encounter between Mr. Agyepong and the National Disciplinary Committee as evidenced by the report submitted to the National Executive Committee (See the attached copy).
• The following day Friday 11th December, 2015, myjoyonline published and circulated widely a purported transcript of Mr. Kwabena Agyepong’s encounter with the National Disciplinary Committee following a number of petitions that have been submitted to the committee. This purported transcript of the minutes of the National Disciplinary Committee was significantly altered to portray Mr. Agyepong to the whole world as unprincipled and a fickle political leader. The official 49 page Memorandum dated 8th December, 2015 from the National Disciplinary Committee and delivered to the National Executive Committee under the subject; RE: DECISION AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE PETITION AGAINST MR. KWABENA AGYEPONG included the minutes and transcript of the proceedings of the committee. It is imperative to state that, portions of the publication by myjoyonline are completely different from the ORIGINAL report presented to all members present during the NEC meeting.
Regrettably, as stated earlier, myjoyonline has sustained their fabrication and falsity by putting out this fake document claiming to be the minutes of the meeting with the National Disciplinary Committee. The story on myjoyonline had the headline “Minutes: Disciplinary Committee encounter with Kwabena Agyepong” with a downloadable Portable Document File (PDF) claiming to be the minutes of the meeting . The said PDF had the official insignia of myjoyonline on it and extensively broadcasted via other platforms. Not only is the procedure as captured in this fake document misleading, the transcript as contained in the document is equally deceptive and spurious; all geared towards tarnishing Mr. Agyepong’s image.
For instance on the issue of Mr. Agyepong’s alleged relationship with the National Democratic Congress citing his Wife’s Scholarship and his Toyota Land Cruiser which was captured in the fictitious report on myjoyonline under the caption ‘Suspected Compromise’ and stated among others that “The General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong must come clean to purge himself from the allegation that he has been given a vehicle from the NDC/Mahama” did not appear in the original report to NEC as narrated by the media house.
The Toyota Land Cruiser
During Mr. Agyepong’s encounter with the Disciplinary Committee, he made it unequivocally clear the price of the vehicle in question and went further to show receipts for all payments made so far to the committee. It is instructive to also state that the Committee’s own report as submitted to all members of NEC stated that “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 original National Disciplinary Committee report even stated the balance on his account with Sterling Motors since he bought the vehicle on hire purchase. Furthermore, the original National Disciplinary Committee report did not mention anywhere that Mr. Tommy Amematekpor a former Presidential Advisor to President Kufuor introduced Mr. Agyepong to Sterling Motors. We wonder what Joyonline and its affiliates seek to gain with such a vicious lie!
Mrs. Agyepong’s Scholarship
It is imperative to state on record that the Committee found no evidence to substantiate the allegation that Mr. Agyepong’s wife is on Ghana government scholarship which is part of a deal with President Mahama. For avoidance of doubt, the committee’s report stated that “Mrs. Agyepong is NOT on Ghana Government Scholarship …..” meanwhile Myjoyonline continues to hold on to this malicious allegation in order to tarnish Mr. Agyepong’s reputation. We wish to also state that Mr. Agyepong made it quite clear to the Committee that his wife started her studies in February 2012 on Ghana Institute of Journalism’s scholarship, when Prof. Mills was the president and two clear years before Mr. Kwabena Agyepong was elected the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party.
We wish to state emphatically that the only audio tapes that were played are the off-record conversation with Mr. Evans Mensah a reporter of Joy Fm who unethically recorded the conversation and used same as the basis for the infamous Fufu story and the interview on Okay Fm with regards to that same story. For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state that, there was no discussion on the flagbearer of NPP on these tapes and at no point did Mr. Agyepong admit to any derogatory or disparaging comment about the flagbearer to which Mr. Agyepong apologized for as the fictitious report published by Myjoyonline sought to portray.
Dismissal of Davis Opoku Ansah
Another fallacious point captured in the doctored transcript published by myjoyonline is the dismissal of the Executive Assistant to the General Secretary Davis Opoku Ansah which the report claimed Mr. Kwabena Agyepong stated during the hearing. For the records, the original Disciplinary Committee report as submitted to all NEC members did not state and never stated that the Executive Assistant to the General Secretary has been sacked.
Kwabena Agyei Agyepong having been Press Secretary to the President of the Republic of Ghana for more than six years worked with the media diligently and at all times respected and values his relationship with the Ghanaian media. It is surprising however that Multimedia Broadcasting Group Limited being one of the foremost private media organizations in the country will conspire with unknown persons to tarnish the image of Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong. Base on this and other malicious allegations, Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong has instructed us, his lawyers to petition your good office, the National Media Commission for appropriate sanctions against the media houses.