Will NPP Allow Bissue To Contest Primaries?
…Essikado-Ketan Electorate Express Worry, Cite NDC’s Gyakye Quayson Case
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) electorate in the Essikado-Ketan constituency of the Western Region have expressed worry over the candidacy of one of the three parliamentary aspirants, Charles Cromwell Onuawonto Bissue, to represent the party in the 2024 election, in an unlikely event that he wins the primaries slated for Saturday, January 27.
They argue that, given the ongoing legal tussle between the aspirant, who is a former secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM),and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), on the other hand, Mr. Bissue may not have the time to focus on his campaign, ahead of the general election if he wins the primary.
This, many believe, could affect the chances of the party to retain the seat for the NPP, which is currently being occupied by veteran legislator and former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joe Ghartey.
Citing the troubles of Mr. Gyakye Quayson, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North Constituency, as an example, the Essikado-Ketan electorate, who are mainly NPP sympathizers, said their former regional secretary could suffer the same fate, even if he becomes the MP and may not concentrate on his parliamentary duties.
Speaking to The Anchor over the weekend, one of the constituents who gave his name as Kwamena Afful said the party should have considered the issues of Mr. Bissue before allowing him to contest, especially given how the NDC had closed the gap in the constituency during the 2020 election.
The Essikado-Ketan seat was formed prior to the 2004 elections with Joe Ghartey representing the New Patriotic Party. He had held the seat till now, when he voluntarily took a decision not to contest again.
Three aspirants have so far filed their nominations and on the ballot awaiting the primary this weekend. They are Horma Akaisie Miezah, current Deputy Director of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) and at the same time Western Regional Treasurer of the party, Mr. Charles Bissue and Giovani Nana Osei Tutu Agyeman, a former constituency youth organizer of the party.
Why the Apprehension
The concern of the Essikado-Ketan NPP voters came following a recent development at the court regarding Mr. Bissue’s case with the OSP.
Recall the embattled former secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining was on Monday, January 15, unsuccessful with his judicial review application seeking to quash an arrest warrant obtained by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).
Mr. Bissue’s lawyers were seeking to stop the court’s directive to have him cross-examined.
On December 6, the High Court in Accra (Human Rights Division) presided over by Justice Nicholas Mensah Abodakpi directed lawyers of Mr. Bissue, the OSP and the Attorney General to file their written submissions.
As per the court’s directive, Mr. Bissue’s lawyer was also supposed to file his written submission for the case.
However, he failed to do so, citing a torn ligament as the reason and requested additional time.
In a post on Facebook, the OSP said the court has fixed 1 February 2024 by which time the lawyer for Bissue is expected to have filed his written submission and fit to be cross-examined.
The OSP is investigating him for suspected corruption and corruption-related offences relating to illegal mining.
This is based on an investigative documentary by Anas Aremeyaw Anas and the Tiger Eye P.I.
More To Come…