A 56 years old man who risked his live to sordjourned between Ghana and Ivory Coast borders to rig elections for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has dragged the party to the High Court seeking justice for haven been used and dumped.
Mr. Amo Bimpong Baffour, a Journalist by profession was baited with sweet promised to transport Ghana nationals from neighbouring Ivory Coast to cross and cast votes for the NPP in the 2008 general elections.
He is embroiled in a bitter battle with the party at the High Court fighting to claim an amount of US$100,000.00 equivalent of Ghana cedis for a mission he claimed to have carried out on behalf of the party but now been dumped following the party defeat in 2008.
Narrating his bitter story to some Journalists in Accra, Mr Amo Baffour said, he was hired by President Nana Akufo Addo, then Flag-bearer and Dr Konadu Apreku, the 2008 Campaign Manager for Akufo Addo to bring in people from the foreign countries to shore up the party chance in election 2008.
He said, as a Confidant of the New Patriotic Party, he obliged to the assignment and went to Ivory Coast to search for the potential voters.
The Ivory Coast Voters, he said was paid USD$50.00, each as part of the enticement package and he managed in over 500 voters who were spread across the country, mostly in the Western, Central, Ashanti and Eastern Regions as Ghanaian voters.
Mr Baffour who is now obsessed with the voter fraud, explained that, after the elections went on run off, he was again asked to bring in more and he brought in additional of 310 voters.
When asked how the Ghanaians domiciled in Ivory Coast managed to cast their votes since their names were not in the Voter Register and they do not have Ghanaian Voter ID Cards, the former Confidant said, they were given forms to fill in as Ghanaian voters who either misplaced or lost their Voter ID Cards.
He added that, the only thing he needed was to get their full names and by the time they enter the country, the Voter Cards would have been issued with conniver with officials from the Electoral Commission (EC).
Mr Bafour said, he was later detained in Ivory Coast Criminal Cells for over six months, after the drivers reported him to Ivory Coast Security over their unpaid transport fee for the operation.
He subsequently sought asylum at Liberia for fear of been kill and live there till he return to Ghana three years ago.
According to him, after risking his live to aid in rigging the 2008 elections in favour of Akufo Addo, the NPP has failed or refused to honour its part of the deal though he executed his assignment to the minute detail, for which he almost lost his life in neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire.
Mr. Baffour, stated that he has, since 2009, done everything humanly possible to have the party and the then Campaign Manager, Mr. Konadu Apraku, to honour their part of the contract to enable him pay off transport owners he contracted from Cote d’Ivore to aid him carry out the mission, but unsuccessful hence the law suit.
He claimed, he would have loved to resolve the matter away from prying eyes of the public but the refusal of his employers to settle their debt to him has pushed him to seek justice at the law courts.
Mr. Amo Baffour, said he had carried the NPP and its secret for too long because of his affinity to the party but stressed would be compelled to drop that burden in order to reclaim what is his and re-acquire all the possessions he lost during the electoral fraud operations.
In a statement of claim of a suit filed at an Accra High Court, Mr. Bimpong indicated that in 2008 then campaign manager of the then presidential candidate of the NPP, Konadu Apraku confided in him that the party wants to give contracts to interested persons to contract, mobilize, sensitize and educate Ghanaians resident in neighbouring countries to travel to Ghana to vote in the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections to enable the then presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo win the elections.
According to him, at a meeting at the party’s headquarters it was agreed that he would be paid GHS200,000.00 and the campaign manager personally undertook to ensure the amount is paid after the elections.
Mr. Bimpong indicated that he managed to bring 500 people to vote in the first round of the election and the NPP paid him and the transport owners the total costs involved in the process but unfortunately the party did not win the elections.
He contended that for the second round of the Elections there was another meeting at Data Bank, Head Office, Accra with Mr. Apraku and other officers of the NPP and was agreed that he would be paid Ghana Cedi equivalent of US$IOO,OOO.OO within one (1) year after the elections for the same service.
He indicated that besides Mr. Konadu Apraku, notable persons present at the meeting were National Chairman and national secretary of the party and other persons including Mr. Keli Gazepo (Chairman of the 2008 finance Committee of the party in 2008-Campaign); Mr. Ken Ofori Atta (Member of the 2008-Campaign Committee); Mr. Yoofi Grant (Member of the 2008-Campaign Committee); Mr. Yaw Amfo Kwakye (Member of the 2008-Campaign Committee and special Assistant to the 2008 Presidential candidate; Mr. Asenso Boakye (a member of the 2008-campaign Committee), and Ambassador Amihere (the then Ambassador to the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire).
Mr. Bimpong contended that he performed his part of the contract by making arrangements with transport owners in Cote d’Ivoire who used a total of 6 buses to transport 310 Ghanaians to Ghana at a cost of US$50.OO per each person (in-and-out) bringing the total amount to US$15,OOO.OO.
The said Ghanaians, he said, voted in the second round of the Elections.
According to him, contrary to the contract and mutual understanding, the NPP refused to pay the amount pledged for the work he did.
John Boadu, General Secretary NPP
THE FULL STATEMENT OF CLAIM
1. Plaintiff is a Ghanaian and journalist by profession.
2. 1st Defendant is a-political party under the Laws of the Repubairmanlic of Ghana.
3. 2nd Defendant is a Ghanaian and Campaign Manager of 1st Defendant in the 2008-Presidential and Parliamentary Elections of the Republic of Ghana.
4. Plaintiff contends that on or around 2008 2nd Defendant informed Plaintiff that ISt Defendant wanted to give contracts to interested persons to contact, mobilize, sensitize, and educate Ghanaians ordinarily resident in the neighbouring countries of the Republic of Ghana, especially, the Republic of Togo, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire, for all such Ghanaians to travel to the Republic of Ghana vote in the 2008-Presidential and Parliamentary Elections to enable the Presidential Candidate of ISt Defendant to win the elections for ISt Defendant to return to power in the Republic of Ghana.
5. Plaintiff further contends that 2nd Defendant took Plaintiff to Headquarters of ISt Defendant to meet the National Chairman and National Secretary of ISt Defendant, and members of the 2008- Campaign Committee of ISt Defendant, and it was agreed in the meeting that Plaintiff should go to the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire to contact, mobilize, sensitize, and educate Ghanaians and to make arrangements with transport owners for all such Ghanaians to return to the Republic of Ghana to vote in the Elections.
Plaintiff contends that it was further agreed that for the work Plaintiff would do in the first round of the Elections, ISt Defendant would pay an amount of Two Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis to Plaintiff, and 2nd Defendant personally undertook to ensure that the amount was paid to Plaintiff after the Elections. \
6. Plaintiff further contends that accordingly he performed his side of the contract and a total of over Five Hundred (500) persons were brought to vote in the first round of the Elections and Defendants paid Plaintiff and the transport owners total costs involved in the process but unfortunately ISt Defendant could not win the Elections.
7. Plaintiff contends that for the second round of the Elections there was another meeting at the Data Bank, Head Office, Accra between Plaintiff and Defendants and the other officers of the ISt Defendantwhöse namesar€ stated_ and it was further agreed that for the work Plaintiff would do In tringtncthe•said Ghanaians from the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire to vote in the Elections in the second round, ISt Defendant would pay Ghana Cedi equivalent of One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$IOO,OOO.OO) to Plaintiff, and 2nd Defendant again personally undertook to ensure that the amount was paid to Plaintiff within one (1) year after the Elections.
8. Plaintiff further contends that apart from 2nd Defendant, the National Chairman, and the National Secretary of ISt Defendant, the other persons present in the meeting included Mr. Keli Gazepo (Chairman of the 2008 finance Committee of ISt Defendant in 2008- Campaign); Mr. Ken Ofori Atta (Member of the 2008- Campaign Committee); Mr. Yoofi Grant (Member of the 2008- Campaign Committee); Mr. Yaw Amfo Kwakye (Member of the 2008-Campaign Committee and special Assistant to the 2008. Presidential candidate of ISt Defendant); Mr. Asenso Boakye (a member of 2008-campaign Committee), and Ambassador Amihere (the then Ambassador to the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire).
9. Plaintiff further contends that he performed his side of the contract by making arrangements with transport owners in the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire who used a total of about six (6) buses to transport Three Hundred and Ten (310) Ghanaians from the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire to the Republic of Ghana at the cost Fifty Dollars (US$50.OO) per each person (in-and-out) bringing the total amount to Fifteen Thousand United States (US$15,OOO.OO) and the said Ghanaians voted in the second rounds of the Elections.
10. Plaintiff contends that contrary to the contract and mutual understanding of Defendants and Plaintiff, Defendants refused and/or failed to pay any amount to Plaintiff for the work he did, and/or for payment of the transport owners who used their vehicles to bring the said Ghanaians from the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire to the Republic of Ghana to vote in the second of the Elections.
11. Plaintiff further contends that after- several discussions and promises with 2nd Defendant and National Officers of ISt Defendant especially the National Chairman and Nation* Secretary of ISt Defendant to make payment for the work of the Plaintiff and for payment of the transport owners, Plaintiff travelled back to the D’Ivoire to plead with the transport owners to exercise patience for Defendants td make—arrangements- payment, and the transport owners agreed but Defendants still failed and/or refused to make payment.
12. Plaintiff contends that on or around 2009/2010 he again travelled to the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire to visit his family including his wife who is an Ivorian and was living in the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire with their children, and Plaintiff was arrested by the security forces of the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire on instruction of the transport owners for failure of Plaintiff to pay the transport costs of the transport owners.
13. Plaintiff contends that he was detained in the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire for a total period of seven (7) months, and finally, criminal charges were preferred against him for failing to pay the transport owners in the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire.
14. Plaintiff further contends that his arrest, incarceration, and prosecution in the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire was brought to the notice of the Defendants but they still refused and/or failed to make arrangements for payment of the transport owners for Plaintiff to gain his freedom.
15. Plaintiff further contends that after being detained for a total period of seven (7) months, he was granted bail with the condition that he makes arrangements to pay off the costs of the transport owners within 14 days from date of the bail.
16. Plaintiff further contends that the security authorities of the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire further seized his Toyota Camry salon car, laptop, recorder, and camera with total value of Seventy Thousand Ghana Cedis.
17. Plaintiff contends that the strict conditions of bail were again brought to the notice of Defendants and National officers of ISt Defendant but they still refused and/or failed to pay off the transport owners for Plaintiff to gain his freedom and he was therefore exposed to a real risk of a long term imprisonment in the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire.
18. Plaintiff further contends that for fear of real risk of further prosecution and a long term imprisonment in the Republic of La Cote Divoirevie.escaped with his family and sought asylum in the Federal Republic of Nigeria under stFictdohditionsrandAae wiWat the trial make all documentation of the asylum, including his application for asylum, available to the court.
19. Plaintiff contends that around January, 2017 he finally managed to travel to the Republic of Ghana and contacted Defendants and other national officers of ISt Defendant to give direct account of his ordeal but after several promises ISt Defendant and its National officers refused/failed to pay off the transport owners and/or pay off Plaintiff for the work done.
20. Plaintiff says that he further wrote several petitions, and finally got a lawyer to write letter to ISt Defendant and its national officers for them to pay off the transport owners and/or pay off Plaintiff for the work done but all to no avail, and Plaintiff will make available to the court at the trial new paper publications, petitions, and letter from the lawyer on the issue.
21. Plaintiff further contends that from the conduct of Defendants, they have breached the contract which Plaintiff duly performed to his detriment by suffering arrest, detention, and prosecution in the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire, and Defendants will not perform their side of the contract unless they are compelled by orders of this court to do so.
22. WHEREFORE Plaintiff claims against Defendants, jointly and severally, as follows:
(a) An order in the nature of specific performance compelling Defendants to perform their side of the contract by paying Ghana Cedi Equivalent of One Hundred United States Dollars (US$IOO,OOO.OO) being the amount Defendants agreed to pay to the Plaintiff for bringing Ghanaians resident in the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire to the Republic of Ghana to vote in the second round of the 2008-Elections;
(b) An order in the nature of specific performance compelling Defendants to perform their side of the contract by paying Ghana Cedi Equivalent of Fifteen Thousand United States Dollars (US$15,000.OO) being costs of the transpon owners who transported Three Hundred and Ten (310) Ghanaians residentin the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire to the Republic of Ghana to vote in the second round of 2008-Eiections;
(c) An order compelling Defendants to pay an amount of Seventy Thousand Ghana Cedis being the value of the Toyota Camry, laptop computer, recorder, and Camera seized by the security forces of the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire as a result of Defendants’ failure to pay the transport owners; and
(d) Cost including legal fees of Plaintiff.
DATED AT LAW TEMPLE, 2ND FLOOR, TOKU HOUSE, NO. 4 GRAPHIC ROAD, ADABRAKA – ACCRA, THIS 1ST DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2017.
APPLICATION FOR DIRECTIONS PURSUANT TO ORDER 32 C.I. 47, 2004
LET ALL PARTIES ONCERNED appear before His Lordship, the Judge on Wednesday 28th February2018 at 9 o’clock in the forenoon or so soon thereafter in the hearing an application for directions by the Plaintiff in this manner as follows;
l. THAT THE ISSUES TO BE TRIED ARE.-
(a) Whether or not Plaintiff entered into a contract With Defendants for Plaintiff to contact, mobilize and educate Ghanaians in the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire to return to Ghana to vote in the 2008 General Elections;
b) Whether or not Defendants agreed to pay Plaintiff an amount of One Hundred Thousand States Dollars United
c) Whether or Defendants had discussions with Plaintiff on the contract for paying to be made to Plaintiff
d) Whether or not transport owners caused arrest and detention of of Plaintiff in the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire;
e) Whether or not Plaintiff’s action is caught by larches and limitation;
f) Whether or not Plaintiff is entitled to the reliefs.
g) Any other issue(s) raised by the pleadings of the parties
2. MODE OF TRIAL
The Plaintiff would pray for an order that the trial be by a judge sitting alone and the mode of trial be by oral and documentary evidence.
3. ORDER FOR WITNESS STATEMENT(S) TO BE FILED WITH EXHIBITS
The Plaintiff would pray that both parties be ordered to file witness statement(s) with exhibits attached which they intend relying on at the trial.
4. CAUSE LIST
The Plaintiff would pray for an order fixing a date for hearing and placing the Suit on the short cause list.
DATED AT LAW TEMPLE, 2ND FLOOR, TOKU HOUSE, NO. 4 GRAPHIC ROAD, ADABRAKA – ACCRA, THIS 8TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2018
REPLY TO STATEMENT OF DEFENCE
1. Plaintiff joins issue with Defendants on generality of their defence.
2. In response to paragraphs 3, 4, and 12 of the statement of defence. Plaintiff savs that when he returned to Ghana from the asylum In Nigeria, 2nd Defendant and representatives of ISt Defendant including the Chief of Staff at the Flagstaff House, invited Plaintiff on several occasions for discussions about how to pay compensation to the Plaintiff.
3. In further response Plaintiff says that in the discussions he had with Defendants and their representatives, they promised to pay compensation to Plaintiff, and when Plaintiff complained that he needed money urgently to seek medical care, they sent Plaintiff to the Climc at the Flagstaff House and the 37 Military Hospital for treatment, and they also started giving Plaintiff small amounts to take care of his medical while he waited for Defendants to finalize payment to be made for the Plaintiff.
4. In further response Plaintiff says that some of the representatives of the Defendants included the Chief of Staff (Akosua Frema Opare), the Deputy Chief of Staff, One Frank Asiedu Bekoe, and Yaw Amfo Kwakye (Speicial Assistant to Nana Akufo Addo, Presidential Candidate of ISt Defendant for 2008 Campaign).
5. In further response Plaintiff says that he has medical Prescription Form from the Clinic at the Office of the President, Flagstaff House, 37 Military Hospital Patient Folder containing Medical Records and treatment paid by representatives of Defendants for Plaintiff.
6. In further response Plaintiff says he also has phone recording and text message of the discussions he had with representatives of the Defendants on the promises and allegations of arrangements they said they were making to pay Plaintiff on the contract.
7. In further response Plaintiff that Defendants paid Plaintiff Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH#OO.OO) for every two (2) weeks from February to December, 2017 to take care of his medical bills to allow Defendants to make arrangements to pay the Plaintiff es Defendants.
8. In further response Plaintiff says he has copies of documents given to Plaintiff for registration of persons including Electoral Commission Voters’ Registration Form, ISt Defendant’s 2008 Campaign Booklet. and copy of a FedEx receipt slip confirming delivery of a letter Plaintiff wrote to the Nana Addo Akuffo Addo in 2009.
9. In further in response Plaintiff between February, 2017 and November, 2017, he visited the Flagstaff House on several occasions to discuss the issue of payment with representative of the Chief of Staff, and visitors records books at the Flagstaff House within this period will confirm that Plaintiff had series of discussions with representatives of Defendants on the contract and for payment to be made to the Plaintiff.
10. In response to paragraph 9 of the statement of defence, Plaintiff says he is seeking a remedy of specific performance of the agreement between him and Defendants, and in such circumstances limitation, and larches are not applicable.
DATED AT LAW TEMPLE. 2ND FLOOR, TOKU HOUSE, NO. 4 GRAPHIC ROAD, ADABRAKA – ACCRA, THIS 24TH DAY OF JANUARY, 2018.
RAPHAEL ALIJINA, ESQ LAWYER FOR PLAINTIFF PRACT. CERT. NO. GAR 18333/18. THE REGISTRAR HIGH COURT (GENERAL JURISDICTION) – AND FOR SERVICE ON THE DEFENDANTS AND/OR THEIR LAWYER, NANA OBIRI BOAHENE, ENSO NYAME YE CHAMBERS, SUNYANI