MR. KOFI Osei Ameyaw, Member of Parliament (MP) for Asuogyaman in the Eastern Region, is undoubtedly, an astute businessman who has made it in life, but his decision to import that business mentality into the realm of politics has landed him in serious trouble.
The Asuogyaman MP, who is one of the dark horses to have filed to contest the forthcoming presidential primary of the party, reportedly failed to pay the mandatory GH¢75,000 filing on fee when he returned his nomination form to the party headquarters. The businessman cum politician has so far failed to explain to Ghanaians why he failed to do so.
Information obtained from party sources, however, indicate that prior to the National Delegates Conference of the party, held early this year in Tamale, Mr. Kofi Osei Ameyaw ‘donated’ a whopping GH¢150,000 to finance hotel, transport, and other logistics needed to organise the conference.
Though the amount was seen as a donation, when the presidential aspirant went to submit his forms at the party headquarters, he told the Kwabena Agyapong-led administration to deduct the GH¢75,000 filing fee from the GH¢150,000 he had earlier given to the party.
Mr. Kwabena Agyapong, General Secretary of the party, has been diplomatic so far by not going public with the information, even though the conduct of the aspirant infringes upon the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the presidential primary.
The rules state that the filing fee must accompany the nomination form, failure of which, it would become invalid. Some of the party hawks who spoke to The Chronicle noted that the General Secretary of the party might have made a mistake, when he decided to accept Ameyaw’s nomination form without the accompanying GH¢75,000. They contended that the mistake of the General Secretary does not validate the Asuogyaman MP’s nomination forms.
The party stalwarts who spoke to The Chronicle, on condition of anonymity, vowed to ensure that Mr. Kofi Osei Ameyaw is disqualified, because it is unconstitutional for him to use the supposed money the party owed him as substitute for the filing fee. Mr. Osei Ameyaw is, however, insisting that he had legitimately filed his nomination papers, which had been accepted by the party. “It has been accepted, and that should end the issue…I am not doing it on credit. I am doing it by following the rules of the game,” he told Citi FM yesterday.
He contended that he paid the statutory amount of GH¢75,000, but the means through which it was paid “is a matter for the party… I am telling you that I have paid.” Per the rules governing the primary, a vetting committee would vet all the seven aspirants. Any aspirant who is disqualified would have 48 hours to appeal to the National Executive Committee of the party, which has sole responsibility of either upholding the appeal or rejecting it outright.
The vetting committee had also been mandated to submit its report to the headquarters by the end of this month (July), after which the date and venue of the Special Congress to prune down the figure to five candidates, as spelt out in the constitution of the party, would be announced. So far, seven candidates have picked and submitted nomination forms to contest the party’s presidential primary.
Among them are Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen who are seen as the frontrunners. The dark horses, some of who are expected to record zero percent, are Kofi Osei Ameyaw, MP for Asuogyaman, Francis Addai Nimoh, MP for Mampong, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, former Minister of Trade and Industry, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, former MP for Mfantsiman West and Minister for Information, and Joe Ghartey, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice.