All is not well within the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Tema East Constituency of the Greater Accra Region as over two persons have been disqualified from the upcoming constituency elections.
At least two aspirants specifically one Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh and one David Agyemang were all disqualified by the constituency vetting committee for the positions of Chairmanship and Youth Organiser respectively.
Some branch executives, who described themselves as “committed, loyal and aggrieved members” of the Tema East Constituency of the NDC fingered persons including the incumbent Member of Parliament for the Area, Hon Isaac Ashai Odamtten, and other faceless persons in the party as the brains behind the disqualification of the two aspirants.
Speaking at a press conference in Tema on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, Mr. Wisdom Torsu, Branch Youth Organizer for U-Central, accused the incumbent MP, Hon Isaac Odamtten, of engaging in what he described as “gross misconduct” and “tribal induced politics”, among others that led to the disqualification of the two aspirants.
He said the duos were disqualified based on some fictitious petitions sent to the vetting committee, who on their part also violated the NDC Constitution in disqualifying the two aspirants.
According to the Branch Youth Organiser of the NDC, Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh and David Agyemang have met all the party constitution provisions in terms of running for constituency executive positions and that it would take only persons clothed with bias and tribal bigots to embark on such political venture.
The aggrieved party members, therefore, called on the party regional and national appeals committee to heed their concerns and reverse the decision of the Tema east vetting committee to avoid disaffection from the party.
Below is the Full Statement of the NDC Aggrieved members in Tema East
Press Statement, Wednesday, 5th October 2022
Good morning, ladies, and gentlemen of the press
We want to thank you very much for accepting our invitation even at such short notice to this very important press conference.
Ladies and gentlemen, fellow members of the great National Democratic Congress, it is with deep pain we announce to you that our NDC in the Tema East Constituency is currently at a crossroads. Clearly, it is fast becoming the case that it is not only Ghana that finds herself at the crossroads, but also our beloved Tema East NDC is at a very painful crossroads.
This has been caused by some unfortunate tribally induced divisive actions and inactions of the current Member of Parliament for the Tema East Constituency, Hon. Isaac Ashai Odamtten, including gross misconduct and electoral irregularities championed by some of the preferred candidates of the MP, specifically one Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh and one David Agyemang who were all disqualified by the constituency vetting committee for the positions of Chairmanship and Youth Organiser respectively.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press,
We just ended our constituency vetting processes for the constituency elections scheduled for this month. Some petitions were written against Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh and David Agyemang. Based on the substance of the petitions, the constituency vetting committee disqualified the two from contesting since it was clear to even a class 1 pupil that they have clearly breached the guidelines for the elections.
We the committed, loyal and aggrieved members of the Tema East Constituency of the great National Democratic Congress have picked signals that our most esteemed Greater Accra Regional Appeal’s Committee intends to overturn the decision of the constituency vetting committee to clear them to contest in the election after the two allegedly appealed their disqualification.
This clearly if allowed to stand will cause a huge disaffection amongst the grassroots and the base of the party and make nonsense of what we have all come to know of the NDC as a party that rewards loyalty and hard work based on rules and laws.
Again, this when allowed to stand will not send a good signal to the base of the party ahead of the 2024 elections.
We therefore ask:
Is our party for sale now?
So today party members can resign at any time, rejoin the party and when not clearly qualified to contest in the constituency elections, use the money to influence the system to be passed to contest.
These are but a few of the questions being asked by party folks in the constituency today. Clearly, Tema East NDC has a long way to go if this is allowed to stand.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press,
For clearer understanding, we shall reproduce word-to-word aspects of the petition filed by one Abdul-Rahim Yahaya, a secretary of the Agbalai branch of Tema East NDC to the Greater Accra Appeals Committee in the case of Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh which we believe represent a true reflection of the facts of the matter for you all to judge for your own selves whether we are not justified to proceed to court tomorrow if Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh and David Agyemang are cleared to contest in the election.
In 2016, Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh effectively resigned from the party and contested as an Independent Parliamentary Candidate for Tema East Constituency in the 2016 general elections obtaining 408 votes.
As to why we are allowing someone who obtained just 408 votes as an independent candidate in 2016 to cause such division for our party ably supported by our Member of Parliament is mind-blowing.
In 2020, Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh declared his intention and commenced preparations toward contesting again as an Independent Candidate for the Tema East Constituency. His posters and flyers were dotted around the constituency in this regard.
In October 2020, Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh was engaged by the Tema East Constituency facilitated by the Chairperson of the NDC Greater Accra Region to rescind his independent parliamentary decision and to re-join the party to prosecute the 2020 general elections. This he did; therefore, effectively becoming a member of the party in 2020 – almost two (2) years now.
In 2022, Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh declared his intention to contest for the Chairmanship position of the Tema East Constituency. He picked forms and filed his nominations.
The party issued rules and guidelines governing the conduct of the elections. The Guidelines for the elections as approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party were equally made public to all party members including contestants and delegates. The guidelines among others provided for qualifications for the elections.
A number of petitions were written against the candidature of Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh in respect of his intention to contest for the Chairmanship. All the petitions were grounded on regulations 2 (1) (i) and (ii) which is reproduced for emphasis as follows:
2 (1) To qualify to contest elections at the Constituency level, the aspirant must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Must be a member of the party in good standing in a Branch in the Constituency (must have paid dues from 2018)
Must be an active Member of the party in the last four (4) years.
From the facts above, Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh clearly breached regulations 2 (1) (i) and therefore not qualified to contest as he only re-joined the party and became a member in 2020 – less than 2 years now. The vetting committee upheld the rules and appropriately failed to clear him to contest accordingly.
Appeal on the basis of interpretation
Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh has appealed before this committee pleading for an interpretation to be made in his favour to the effect that the reinstatement letter granted him by the NDC Greater Accra Region which enabled him to re-join the party in 2020 reinstated him retrospectively to his former status as an NDC member which should qualify him to contest in the upcoming constituency election.
Clearly, the issue for determination is therefore whether membership reinstatement applies retrospectively with all lost rights, obligations, and entitlements.
Reinstatement, Rights, Obligations, and Entitlements
For the avoidance of doubt, the term reinstatement primarily refers to the action of giving someone back a position or status he or she has lost. Obviously from the definition, it suffices to mention that the act of reinstatement is first and foremost to the position or status simpliciter one used to occupy. For instance, in the case of the reinstatement of Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh, his reinstatement can only reasonably be in respect of his position or status as a member of the party.
Therefore, the corresponding fundamental issue now is whether by reinstating Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh to his former status as a member of the party he is deemed to have accrued rights and entitlements dating back to when he first became a member of the party and even throughout the time he resigned from the party.
In other words, Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh is inviting you the members of the appeals committee to uphold that even from the time he resigned from the party from 2016 to October 2020, his rights, obligations, and entitlements as a member of the party were still intact.
The answer to the question in paragraphs 11 and 12 above cannot be in the affirmative. This is simply because the laws of equity and the clean hand’s doctrine “he who comes into equity must come with clean hands” injuncts the courts or bodies including committees exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers to deny equitable relief to a party who has violated good faith with respect to the subject matter of the claim.
The subject matter here is simple. That, Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh’s rights, obligations, and entitlements as a member of the party should not be affected even when he resigned from the party and contested as an independent candidate. Clearly, Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh cannot “eat his cake and have it back”. The vetting committee at the constituency level did the right thing in his case by not clearing him to contest.
The pleading and relief being sought by Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh would have reasonably had strong legs to stand on if it was the case that Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh was wrongfully dismissed from the party and is now being reinstated. This is clearly not the case. He voluntarily resigned from the party in 2016 and contested as an independent parliamentary candidate. Again, in 2020, he intended, planned, and started work towards contesting as an independent parliamentary candidate.
It has come to my notice that after Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh was reinstated in October 2020, he paid his dues for the year 2020. This was verified, received, and endorsed by the Secretary of the Constituency. Interestingly, my intelligence tells me that the membership card he produced for the constituency vetting committee rather indicated that he had paid his party dues from 2018 to 2020.
This clearly raises huge suspicion and would require the intervention of the secretary to ascertain the truth of this matter. I cannot tell from the act of Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh whether or not he took inspiration from Mr. David Agyemang (another comrade from the constituency hoping to contest for the youth organizer position), who had a similar fraud case and was left off the hook, without any punishment.
Circulation of posters
It is my duty as a member of the party to also humbly bring to your notice that pending this specific appeal before you, Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh has already caused and or allowed his agents, assigns, supporters, cronies, etc. to be circulating posters of him on the various WhatsApp platforms indicating his position on the ballot paper as number five (5). This is clearly a gross act of misconduct that should never be entertained or sanctioned by a person of the caliber of Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh who is perceived to be a close ally to the Member of Parliament of Tema East Constituency.
Such gross misconduct of Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh if allowed to stand and cleared to contest in the elections shall not only set a terrible and demoralizing precedent for party members but, also not provide the needed unity and harmony before, during, and after the 2024 elections.
I am by this petition humbly inviting you to disqualify or uphold the decision of the vetting committee in respect of Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh from contesting for the position of Chairman of the Tema East Constituency not only because he has clearly breached the guidelines, but also, to encourage the party’s base that we are a party of rules and laws.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press,
Clearly from the above, it will be very surprising and disappointing if the very revered and esteemed Greater Accra Regional Appeals Committee of the NDC composed of Mr. Danny Annang, Attuquaye Armah, and Sammy Gyamfi clears Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh to contest.
We do not want to believe the rumour going around that Mr. Danny Annang and Atoquaye Armah are supporting our MP, Hon. Isaac Ashai Odamtten to pursue his Ga-Dangbe agenda in the Tema East Constituency. We the non-indigenes and non-Ga-Damgbe feel threatened by the actions of the MP. We no more feel safe in the NDC we used to love.
For the records, ladies and gentlemen of the press,
Hon. Isaac Ashai Odamtten is supporting Mr. Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh, a Ga-Dasngbe against the incumbent chairman Alhaji Mahama Builsa who is a northerner. The Hon. MP is again supporting one Abraham Adjetey Adjei, and another Ga-Dangbe against Mr. Seidu Abdulai for the Secretary position.
As if this was not enough, he is also on record to be supporting the deputy organiser of the Constituency, Evans Amarh, another Ga-Dadamgbe to unseat the incumbent organiser, Clemet Kofigah, who is from our NDC’s world bank – the volta region.
Ladies and gentlemen, the list goes on and on. Clearly, we do not feel safe anymore in this constituency as non-Ga-Dambge in the Constituency.
Again, fellow comrades, we need to bring a few fundamental issues to your attention:
On the alleged reinstatement of Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh by the Greater Accra Regional NDC, a major issue for determination by the courts is whether Greater Accra NDC has the powers in law to reinstate members into the party who have gone independent.
On the issue of forgery, this is clearly a criminal case. We are engaging our lawyers from here to advise us on how we can successfully lodge a criminal complaint at the Police CID further for further investigation and prosecution by the Attorney General. This is a sacred duty we have under Article 41 of the 1992 Constitution.
If the verdict from the Greater Accra Regional NDC Appeals Committee clears Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh and David Agyemang to contest we shall instruct our lawyers who are on standby to go to court to, first of all, put the constituency election on hold and to find out whether per the guidelines for the elections Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh and David Agyemang qualify in any way to contest in the constituency elections.
We have heard of other comrades from the constituency who intend to go to court if Theophilus Ankama Densu-Tetteh and David Agyemang are cleared by the Regional Appeal’s Committee to even question the composition of the entire constituency vetting committee since there was no national representative on the constituency vetting committee that vetted all the aspirants in clear breach of regulation 4.1 of the Guidelines approved by the National Executive Committee of our great NDC for the elections. This clearly would mean that their actions would be void and would mean a proper vetting committee to be set in place, conducting everything afresh, drawing us back again.
We must avoid all these things. Clearly, if we want to rescue Ghana in 2024, we must first reduce the lawlessness and lack of respect for the party’s electoral rules currently going on in the Tema East Constituency as orchestrated by the Member of Parliament, Hon. Isaac Ashai Odamtten and his cronies.
We therefore would want to appeal to the appeals committee to exercise the quasi-judicial powers in conformity to the rules and laws as agreed to.
Our next steps have been amply communicated in this statement.
Thank you very much.
Branch Youth Organizer, U-Central Branch
Send your news stories and articles to email@example.com or via WhatsApp +233 0543 900 732