The largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has agreed to strike out some unlawful clauses in the guidelines it set out for the conduct of its presidential primaries that was scheduled for January 26, 2019.

For instance, the umbrella family has agreed the condition in the guidelines as amended requiring a person aspiring to be a Presidential candidate of the party to be a paid up member of the party for 10 years shall no longer apply.

The party has also agreed that the requirement in the guidelines as amended to the effect that an aspirant must show substantial contributions to the party shall no longer apply.

The party agreed to amend the guidelines after coming to terms with two of its members; Abdallah Issah and James Kabu Nartey-Oman, who took the umbrella family to court and in the process, secured a ten-day interim injunction against the party over what they described as unlawful guidelines for the conduct of the presidential primaries.

This was contained in the settlement agreement entered between the Abdallah Issah and James Kabu Nartey-Oman (Plaintiff) and the NDC on Monday, January 14, 2019.

The parties were represented by their lawyers.

The settlement agreement was sent to the High Court on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, of which same was adopted by the court.

The two parties, among the terms of settlement, agreed to “bring an end and complete closure to all litigation in this matter”.

The parties also agreed that the quantum of fees payable by Presidential aspirants shall remain at GH₵300,000.00 and shall represent filing fees and contributions towards the cost of conducting the Presidential Primaries.

They also agreed that a new date for the primaries shall be fixed in accordance with the relevant constitutional provisions of the National Democratic Congress.

That notwithstanding, the parties further agreed that the election shall be held in accordance with the party’s constitution and in a free, fair and transparent manner.

Finally, the parties agreed that there shall be no order as to costs.

Background

In August last year, the Akatamansonians published an election guidelines for the conduct of its presidential primaries.

In the guidelines were certain clauses spelling out eligibility criteria as conditions for all those aspiring to contest the vacant flagbearer position of the party and also setting up a filing fee of GH₵400,000.00.

This provoked the Plaintiffs who are card bearing members of the party to suit the NDC demanding among other reliefs;

(i) a declaration that the published guidelines for the conduct of the Presidential Elections by the National Democratic Congress in 2019 is null and void, being ultra vires the September 1992 NDC Constitution.

(ii) a declaration that the introduction of certain eligibility criteria as conditions precedent for Presidential Candidates as part of the said guidelines provoke the letter and spirit of the NDC Constitution and are unlawful.

(iii) a declaration that the procedure adopted by the NDC via the National Executive Committee (NEC) in the preparation and presentation of the guidelines together with the amendments without prior consultation of the Council of Elders are unlawful.

(iv) a declaration that the usurpation by the Functional Executive Committee of the powers and responsibilities of the National Executive Committee in respect of the guidelines for the conduct of the Presidential Elections is unconstitutional and thus unlawful.

(v) an order, ordering the NDC to conduct their 2019 Presidential Elections in a free, fair, transparent and inclusive manner in accordance with the NDC Constitution and the cardinal tenets of free and fair elections.

(vi) an injunction restraining the NDC, its committee, agents, or privies or authorized bodies from proceeding with the 2019 Presidential Elections in the manner outlined in the said published guidelines and amendment or at all until the final determination of this suit.

(vii) any other relief as the court may deem fit.

The court having listened to the Plaintiffs, granted an interim injunction against the NDC for a period of ten (10) days.

However, the parties agree on an out-of-court settlement with the terms of settlement agreed upon and same adopted by the Court.

Seven candidates are contesting for the vacant flagbearer position of the party. They are the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Prof. Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Goosie Tanoh, Ekow Spio-Garbrah, John Dramani Mahama and Nurideen Iddrisu.