The confusion in the People’s National Convention (PNC) has escalated following the latest decision by the party’s leadership to take possession of the office of its suspended General Secretary, Atik Mohammed.
The party had given Atik up to July 28 to surrender his office keys and other party items in his possession after the party had suspended him indefinitely on July 22.
Mr Atik Mohammed reportedly refused to hand over on the grounds that the decision to suspend him was unconstitutional, and following that, the party’s leadership has reportedly changed the door lock to his office.
According to the party, Atik allegedly kept “sneaking” into his office at the party’s headquarters in Accra, in spite of the fact that he had been served with the suspension letter/notice by the National Executive Committee (NEC), which is the second highest decision-making body.
According to Class FM, the party’s leader, Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama, who was the flag bearer in last year’s presidential election, instructed that the locks to Atik’s office should be changed to prevent him from “intruding” further.
The party is said to have taken inventory of things in the suspended General Secretary’s office; and sources say they were making efforts to secure a restraining order against embattled Atik to prevent him from going to the premises.
At the NEC meeting that took the decision to suspend Mr Atik Mohammed, the party also unanimously affirmed Dr. Mahama as its leader.
A release had indicated that Atik was suspended indefinitely “as a result of lack of efficiency and dereliction of duties,” adding that the party agreed further that his deputy, Jacob Amoako, should “assume the role of acting General Secretary with immediate effect.”
The party 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 Mornah, 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 release pointed out.
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.”
However, Atik says the decision by the NEC was an affront to the PNC constitution and has since been fighting back to reclaim his position.
He has already caused his lawyers to write to the party, arguing that the decision to suspend him was ultra vires.
His lawyers, A-Partners @ Law said, “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.”
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,” among other things.
By William Yaw Owusu