Accra, Sept 30, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court on Tuesday ordered David Hoezame, a former constituency chairman of the Central Tongu branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to resort to the internal disciplinary structure of the party.
The court, however, ruled that Hoezame could go to court if he was not satisfied by decisions of the party’s internal grievances structure.
Granting the application in part, the court presided over by Mr Justice K.A Ofori Attah, noted that, the existence of the National Executive Council (NEC) did not take away the right to go to court when the need arises.
According to the court, Hoezame had not breached the rule of natural justice by resorting to the court for redress.
The court awarded cost of GH¢1,000.00 against Hoezame, who was not in court when the ruling was delivered.
Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame prayed the court to award cost of GH¢20,000 .00 against Hoezame since the NPP had to hire lawyers to come to court as a result of the court action.
The court declared that in the spirit of public interest, it would only award GH¢1,000.00 against Hoezame.
Speaking to journalists after the ruling, Mr Dame noted that, the Court ruling was a victory to the party, adding that, he was satisfied with the ruling delivered.
Hoezame had gone to court challenging the constitutionality of the composition of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The former constituency chairman for the Central Tongu branch of the NPP, contends that members of the council were handpicked just after he had filed a writ against the NPP and its Chairman. The NEC is one of the highest decision bodies of the NPP.
Arguing before the court, Mr Yeboah-Dame, submitted that the application before the court was frivolous and vexatious hence it should not be entertained by the court.
‘’If the writ is entertained it would open the floodgates for people to flood the court with various writs,’’ he stated.
According to Mr Yeboah-Dame, Article 4 of the NPP Constitution spelt out how grievances of members could be solved.
Mr Yeboah – Dame contended that the same article also afforded members of the party the right to appeal, saying that, Hoezame, had not exhausted those avenues.
The Counsel said Hoezame had not complained about the nonexistence of the committees set up at the Constituency and Regional levels because all those committees were in place.
Mr Yeboah-Dame said Hoezame had not alleged any violation of natural justice, therefore, the case was premature and an abuse of court process.
The plaintiff, he said, could not seek redress at the court without exhausting all the party’s internal systems.
He noted that the NPP, which was the first defendant, was a voluntary organization, which gave citizens the right to join and it also had its own regulations, which could not be described as laws.
Mr Dame therefore prayed the court to strike out series of applications filed against the party by Hoezame.
Mr Peter Dadzie, who represented Hoezame, however, argued that the composition of the NEC was not properly done and its members were handpicked.
According to Mr Dadzie, on June 17 this year, when his client, Hoezame filed the writ, the NPP did not have any NEC in place; hence he could not have sent the matter to the council.
He contended that it was when the writ was filed that the party quickly formed the NEC, the NEC was thus not properly constituted.
Hoezame has suffered some defeats after the same court had dismissed two applications he had filed.
The court dismissed an injunction filed by Hoezame seeking to restrain the NPP and its Chairman, Mr Paul Afoko from holding meetings leading to the Super National Delegates Conference.
Also, Hoezame filed an action seeking to stop the Super Delegates conference but that was dismissed.