Four prominent figures within the NPP, including Yaw Buaben Asamoa, former Director of Communication; Nana Ohene Ntow, former NPP General Secretary; Hopeson Adorye, former member of the pro-NPP group Young Patriots; and Boniface Abubakar Saddique, former Minister of State at the office of the Vice President, and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, are no longer members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
However, the circumstances surrounding their departure remain contentious, with conflicting news headlines suggesting either dismissal or forfeiture of their membership from portals such as myjoyonline and Pulse Ghana, among others.
While some reports assert that the quartet was expelled from the party, the NPP contends that their actions automatically led to the forfeiture of their membership, as indicated in the constitution. In light of this, DUBAWA sought to bring clarity to the matter.
Drawing on the definitions provided by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, ‘sacking’ is described as an act of dismissal from an entity, whereas ‘forfeit’ denotes losing the right to something, especially as a consequence of an error, offence, or crime.
Why did the NPP release a statement on the quartet?
On Nov. 20, 2023, the NPP issued a statement officially declaring that Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Nana Ohene Ntow, Hopeson Adorye, and Boniface Abubakar Saddique are no longer affiliated with the party.
The party attributes this decision to the quartet’s public endorsement of independent presidential aspirant Alan Kyeremanteng when the party duly elected a flagbearer in the person of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia. The statement, endorsed by General Secretary Justin Kodua Frimpong, cites the violation of the party’s constitution, specifically referring to breaches of Articles 3(5) (A)(4) and 3(8)(1). These endorsements by some of these quartet were reported in news sources such as Metro TV and 3news.com.
What does the NPP constitution say about expulsion and forfeiture of a member?
The party’s constitution outlines two provisions regarding the termination of party membership. Article 3(7)1 and 3(8)1 specify the conditions under which an individual automatically forfeits membership or may face expulsion from the party.
Article 3(7)1, titled “Expulsion of Membership,” defines the process for expulsion and states that:
1. A Member may be expelled from the Party on grounds of misconduct by the provisions of this Constitution and, upon such expulsion, shall cease to be a Member.
2. Any person who, accordingly, ceases to be a member shall return to the Party any party property in his or her custody and shall forfeit any monies, dues, or donations made to the Party.
3. No Member shall be expelled unless such expulsion is effected in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of this Constitution.
With this provision, it is specified that “No member shall be expelled unless such expulsion is carried out by the provisions of Article 4 of this Constitution.” Article 4 of the constitution outlines the disciplinary and grievance procedures. Therefore, it implies that no member can be expelled from the party unless they undergo the disciplinary procedures outlined in its constitution.
Article 3(8)1 of the constitution is captioned “Forfeiture of Membership” and indicates that:
“A member of the Party who stands as an independent candidate against the officially elected member of the Party or who joins or declares his or her support for another Political Party or for an independent candidate when the Party has sponsored a candidate in general or by-election automatically forfeits his or her membership of the Party.”
Now, considering these two articles in the constitution, this explanation aims to determine whether the quartet underwent disciplinary procedures resulting in their expulsion or if their open endorsement of the independent candidate Alan Kyeremanteng, instead of the party’s flagbearer, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, automatically led to the forfeiture of their party membership.
DUBAWA contacted the Deputy Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Haruna Mohammed, to seek clarity on the issue. In an interview (here), Mr Mohammed clarified that the quartet were not expelled from the party; rather, their open endorsement of the Independent presidential aspirant, Alan Kyeremanteng, led to their automatic forfeiture of membership, as stipulated in Article 3(8)1.
This is underscored by Yaw Buaben Asamoa’s statement, where he described the announcement of their forfeiture of NPP membership as unnecessary, indicating his awareness of the automatic forfeiture of his membership after he openly endorsed independent candidate Alan Kyeremanteng. This strongly suggests that he wasn’t expelled but, rather, was cognizant that his actions automatically resulted in the forfeiture of his membership.
Mr Mohammed reiterated that there was no requirement for them to be referred to the party’s disciplinary committee because violating Article 3(8)1 automatically led to the forfeiture of their membership.
This clarification shows that the NPP did not expel Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Nana Ohene Ntow, Hopeson Adorye, and Boniface Abubakar Saddique from the party. Instead, their public endorsement of Independent Presidential aspirant Alan Kyeremanteng automatically led to the forfeiture of their membership in the party.