– Angry Ayikoi Otoo Charges
A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), James Ayikoi Otoo, has rebuked the man, who replaced him as chairman of the party’s Constitutional Committee, Prof. Mike Oquaye, for leaking and publishing, the supposed recommendations for the reinstatement of Perry Okudzeto, and Opare Hammond, former Director of Communication and former Director of Finance respectively.
According to the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the Committee erred by giving an opinion on a matter that had not been referred to it.
The respected Lawyer, Ayikoi Otoo, who was kicked out of the position through the machinations of Nana Akufo-Addo, in an interview on an Accra sited Neat FM, noted that such unsolicited views on party issues, would further deepen the cracks within the party.
Mr. Ayikoi Otoo, in the past, has complained about how he was sidelined in the event leading to the Election Petition filed by Nana Akufo-Addo, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in the Supreme Court, last year.
Perry Okudzeto and Opare Hammond, are key allies of Nana Akufo-Addo. Indeed, their supporters stormed the NPP National Headquarters with machetes, cudgels, pistols and bottles to attack the General Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong and National Chairman, Paul Afoko, when they were axed from the party’s national office.
“This is a non-solicited opinion”, he said, adding that “if the steering committee has not asked for any opinion, if the national council has not asked for any opinion, then whose interest is this man serving by writing this so called legal opinion?”
The chairman of the NPP’s Constitutional Committee, Professor Mike Oquaye on Wednesday issued a statement ordering the leadership of the party to reinstate two officials who had been relieved of their duties.
But the national executives in a statement, urged party members and the general public to disregard the directive, because the issue was not referred to Committee for investigations.
Ayikoi Otto, who is the immediate past chairman of the NPP’s Constitutional Committee, was certain that his successor’s action is indicative that he is working for a faction in the party.
“Clearly, somebody is trying to serve the interest of a particular faction by trying to direct others towards the way things ought to be done, even when there are no issues to be considered,” he alleged.
According to him, Prof Oquaye had no business giving directives on a matter which had not been brought before his Committee.
He stated that the Constitutional Committee, should have been asked by the party leadership to “proffer an advice on a particular matter to enable the committee to act properly. If there is a conflict that is trying to be resolved, you will wait for the issues to arise before you try to explain.”
The former head of the Constitutional Committee, also chastised his successor for doing the bidding of his masters.
Ayikoi Otoo recalled that prior to the party’s Super Delegates’ Congress two weeks ago, a media publication about the impending congress was attributed to him but without seeking any clarification, “Professor Mike Oquaye decided to issue a long statement which according to him, he was doing because he is the chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Committee.”
“He wrote all sorts of things, circulated it on whatsapp, and circulated it on Facebook without even seeking to talk to me. He decided to write a long opinion for his friends to vilify me and say all sorts of things against me,” he narrated.
According to him, the said response from Prof. Oquaye gave people the opportunity to “abuse me…without him [Prof. Oquaye] having the common courtesy of calling me to find out what has happened.”
He accused Prof. Oquaye of working to “damage” his reputation, adding that, “he should go ahead and be writing opinions. That is not what he inherited from me so if that’s what it has come to, he should continue to do that.”
The former A-G, counseled party members to “stop these kinds of factionalism within this party because it is not helping anybody.”
Meanwhile, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, has urged all to “disregard” the report from the party’s Constitutional and Legal Committee calling for the re-reinstatement of two party officials; Perry Okudzeto and Opare Hammond.
He said, recommendation and the publication must be treated with “all the contempt it deserves.”
The party chairman, Paul Afoko, had clarified that the decision taken against Okudzeto was a purely administrative decision which was taken by the party’s Steering Committee.
In a swift response, Mr. Agyepong also clarified that on no occasion was the matter referred to the Steering Committee, National Executive Committee or National Council.
He added that the “publication of this unsolicited opinion on a purely administrative matter is improper, an anomaly and a gross abuse of due process in our party.”
The statement said, “Neither the Steering Committee, National Executive Committee nor the National Council, has referred the matter at issue to the Constitutional and Legal Committee”.
It said, “In good faith and in accordance with Article 9B (5) of the NPP Constitution, any report of any standing committee should duly be submitted to the Steering Committee for consideration. This was not the case”.
The NPP scribe insisted that “Assuming without admitting that the matter was even referred to the Constitutional and Legal Committee, they could only proffer an opinion for consideration. That opinion can only be advisory and not mandatory”.
To Mr. Agyepong, “Publication of this unsolicited opinion on a purely administrative matter, is improper, an anomaly and a gross abuse of due process in our party”, adding, “We urge all to disregard the said publication with all the contempt it deserves”.
But the former Director of Finance and Administration, Kwadwo Opare Hammond, is threatening legal action against the party if he is not reinstated immediately.
Speaking to Citi News, however, Mr. Opare Hammond said he will be compelled to go to court if the matter is not resolved.
“I am only trying to use the channel that is available to me in the party’s Constitution. I don’t want to go beyond that and then very soon I will drag the party and the people involved to court, please.”
Opare Hammond, has also appealed to the party’s National Council of Elders to immediately resolve the various conflicts and issues raging in the party.