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I Will Sue Afoko, Et al To Clear My Name

Dismissed Director of Finance and Administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Fred Opare Hammond is considering a legal suit against the Chairman of the Party, Mr. Paul Afoko, the General Secretary, Mr. Kwabena Agyepong and the party in general, over what he terms as wrong­ful removal from office and defamation of character.

Mr. Opare Hammond was asked by the party’s General Secretary and Chairman to proceed on a compulsory leave-a decision that has since been vehemently con­tested by some top officers of the party as unconstitu­tional.

The leadership of the party, at a press conference, said Mr. Opare Hammond was relieved of his post for gross disobedience, financial impropriety and his involve­ment in a case of conflict of interest.

The legal and constitu­tional Committee of the party, in its advice to the matter, however, says the action of the leadership was “improper” and has accord­ingly advised the General

Secretary of the party to rein­state Mr. Opare Hammond and render an apology to him.

But the General Secretary, in a response said the advice was “unsolicited” and one that should be treated with the greatest contempt it deserves, arguing that the decision to relieve Mr.Hammond of his position is purely an administrative one.

The man at the centre of the controversy, however, says the stance of the leader­ship of the party gives him a clear indication that the only language they would under­stand is that which is spoken at the law court.

According to Hammond, he has exhausted all avail­able internal channels for seeking redress and is in talks with his lawyer to seek legal redress in court, to first clear his dented image and secondly compel the party leadership to do what is right.

Mr. Hammond, in an ear­lier interview with The Chronicle, emphasised that never in his four years work­ing period with the party was he ever involved in any financial impropriety, as sug­gested by the party’s leader­ship.

According to Mr. Hammond, in any good administrative setup, the party’s General Secretary and Chairman would have thor­oughly investigated the mat­ter, and even called him for clarification of issues, before going public with the false­hood.

Mr. Hammond noted that had the judgment of the new executives not been clouded with malice, they would have easily verified all the issues, before going public with their accusations of financial impropriety.

He recounted late July, this year, after his attempted removal from office he appealed to the National Executive Committee, after which the Steering Committee, which looked into the matter, concluded that his dismissal was uncon­stitutional and illegal, and recommended that he be reinstated.

Furthermore, he said a three man sub-committee was constituted to bring finality to the issue and was just waiting for the leader­ship to act accordingly, only to hear of his alleged finan­cial impropriety.

According to Mr. Hammond, his reputation has been dented by the leader­ship of the party and would go all lengths to clear his name.

Source: The Chronicle

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