Daniel Owusu Baffoe

Daniel Owusu Baffoe, a student at Wisconsin International University College and a member of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has issued a press statement questioning the legitimacy of the just-ended Annual Delegates Congress of NUGS.

The statement claimed that “the entire 2022 annual delegates conference of NUGS was plagued with illegality.”

Just recently, this same student filed an action before the Accra High Court, challenging the legality of Mr. Kwesi Atuahene, Mr. Dennis Appiah Larbi-Ampofo, and some others as elected officers of NUGS.

In the press statement issued on Saturday, April 16, 2022, he sought to give a blow-by-blow account of every step of the electoral process in his attempt to discredit the entire electoral process.

Among the things he tackled, was the fact that the elections were conducted without a voters’ register and hence was ready to pay a sum of Ghc50,000 to anyone who would be able to provide the voters’ Register which was used for the elections. 

Mr. Owusu further argued that every honest student is aware of the illegal NUGS elections which have existed for the past 10 years. He has as well accused the 54th President of NUGS, Mr. Yiadom Boakye of walking illegality since he openly and blatantly disregarded the orders of the Judicial Board to ensure a voters’ Register is available before the elections could be organized.

In affirming his accusations, he disclosed that in the full glare of the public, YB as affectionately called refused to take writs from a bailiff of the Accra High Court.

“I was not surprised when I heard the lawless President, Yiadom Boakye quoting portions of the NUGS Constitution to dignify himself when it went viral that, there has been an injunction on the NUGS handing over and swearing-in ceremony.

….Indeed, he affirmed to the whole world, how he is walking illegality when in the full glare of the general public, he refused to take the court processes that were served on him on April 14, 2022.”, he said.

He described the handing over ceremony as unconstitutional due to the following reasons: 1. Article 24(e)(v) of the NUGS Constitution requires the handing over to be held in September Instead of April.2.

The person who swore the incoming executives into power, could not do so. He has therefore vowed to pursue the matter till it gets to its logical conclusion. “In sum, in so far as Article 2(c) of the 2019 NUGS is concerned, or even unless proven otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction, Dennis Appiah Larbi-Ampofo is not the President-elect,d and the so-called swearing-in ceremony which ushered him in as the President of NUGS is non-existent, null, void and of no effect.”, he said.

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Without prejudice to the case pending before the Accra High Court (i.e. Daniel Owusu Baffoe vrs Yiadom Boakye and others), I reserve the onerous right to educate all stakeholders on why I instituted the aforesaid legal action.

This has become acutely necessary after certain faceless individuals resorted to distortion of facts, reliance on misconceptions, misrepresentations, and misinformation to cyber-bully me because I had exercised my right to seek redress at the law court.

The section that vilifies me for refusing to acknowledge Kwesi Atuahene, Dennis Appiah Larbi-Ampofo, and others as elected executives of NUGS should understand that acknowledging them would not only mean a tacit approval of products of illegality but also a copious endorsement of proscribed processes. 

Admittedly, every honest student will agree with me that, NUGS elections have always been fraught with electoral misconducts such as rigging and manipulation.

This has been affirmed in page 3 of the 2019 NUGS constitution which was fore-worded by the 2018/2019 double Presidents of NUGS, Tinkaro Asare Osei and Gombilla S. Mohammed.

The reformation committee acknowledged in point 10 that there was a decade canker of electoral fraud, which Tinkaro and Gombilla described as the cause of the woes of the union. Tinkaro and Gombilla also made it abundantly clear in Page 1, Paragraph 7, that through the adoption of the 2019 NUGS constitution, the union has been able to mend the exploitative loopholes which had existed before the adoption of same, when they said, “consequently, we are excited at the renewal processes championed by all relevant stakeholders to mend the cracks and exploitative loopholes which have existed in the National Union of GhanaStudents through the effective adoption of this newly constructed NUGS Constitution”. And that, the electoral frauds and the other shady deals could only be eradicated by strict adherence to the 2019 NUGS constitution. 

The new constitution in points 4 and 10 respectively, gave a clear “definition of who qualifies to be a delegate to a NUGS function purposely to ensure a cleaner and a transparent voter register” [see Article 13(l)(iii)] and introduced new electoral regulations to end electoral fraud.

Because these pragmatic changes require adequate time for proper planning and management, the drafters of the constitution fixed the deadline for conducting National Executive elections on August 14th or in the worst-case scenario, August 24th of every year, [See Article 13(e)(i)-(ii)].

This will inter alia, give the Electoral Commission of NUGS a reasonable and adequate time to ensure compliance as far as the provisions in Article 19(b) (iv) to (vi) are concerned.

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Per Article 19 (b), the EC is mandatorily expected to adhere to the following:1. Provide a Voters’ Register which shall be enlisted by the Secretary for Union Development while filling- in the names of delegates in accordance with the constitution signed by both the National President and the General Secretary.

Moreover, Article 13(l) has specified the number of delegates assigned to each institution, how the voter list of each institution should be submitted, and how it should be verified. 13(l) (vii), states that the list of the institutions should be communicated to the National Secretariat, six weeks before Congress.2. Article 19(b), clause (v), states that the register shall include the names, index numbers, portfolios, and academic levels of all delegates, and the portfolios they hold in their various institutions as required by law.3.

The EC shall as required by Article 19 (b)(vi) provide a provisional register four weeks before congress to the following entities:a. All candidates or aspirants;b. The Judicial Board;c. To members of NUGS, and even to the general public to receive concerns; three weeks before congress.

4. The EC is also required to provide the final register at least two weeks before congress (See Article 21(d) (i). Without any shred of equivocation or fear of contradiction, I posit that, none of the administrative and procedural processes as supported and spelt above was followed by NUGS and the Electoral Commission, and that anyone with contrary evidence relative to the above could make it available to torpedo my averments. 

And as a form of commitment to my position, the person who will be able to provide a voters’ register which meets the criteria described in the 2019 NUGS Constitution, should tender it in exchange for GH₵50,000.

As if leadership’s wanton failure and complete disregard for these foundational and internationally-accepted standards were not enough, they have shamelessly and opulently ignored the orders of the Judicial Board directing the EC to compile the Voters’ Register on or before 29th March 2022 before holding the elections.

For not postponing the date of Congress in line with Article 13(e) (ii) as part of enforcing the orders of the Judicial Board, it is useful to say that Yiadom Boakye has not only proven to be lawless, unruly, and riotous but has also carved a niche for himself, and will go down in history as an incompetent, bootlicking autocrat.

It was therefore not surprising when I heard the lawless President, Yiadom Boakye quoting portions of the NUGS Constitution to dignify himself when the news of the injunction on the handing over and swearing-in ceremony went viral on social media and other online portals.

Indeed, he affirmed to the whole world, he is a walking illegality when in the full glare of the public, he refused to take the court documents that were served on him on April 14, 2022.

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In any case, if he claims to respect the constitution he normally seeks refuge from, I am challenging him on authority that, Per Article 24(e) (iv), the official NUGS handing over ceremony is supposed to take place within the first week of September.

It is only an incompetent leader who will lawlessly disregard constitutional principles and perpetuate such illegality. On this note, I insist that the handing over was illegally held. 

This is not the NUGS our forebearers envisaged as recorded on page 1 of the NUGS constitution by Tinkaro and Gombilla. And these were their exact words: “However, in recent times, the National Union of Ghana Students has had to battle several episodes of fragmentation, heightened acrimony, and bizarre disturbances which have consequently sucked the elixir of relevance which the Union has held over the years.

The nature of these confrontations and controversies have been such that, they have emphatically split the fibre of the union along stuck political persuasions; a situation which has ultimately served as a huge disincentive to the union’s goal of creating a convivial atmosphere of learning for the ordinary Ghanaian student.”

I wish to reiterate that, what happened at the April 16, 2022, so-called swearing-in ceremony was an eyesore. Contrary to Article 24(e) (v) which requires the in-coming national executives to be sworn into office by any of the following personalities: a judge of the court requested through the Judicial Secretary, Chairman of the Peace Council or someone directed by him expressly in writing to the union, the Ghana Bar President or Chairman of the Trustee Board, Dennis Appiah Larbi-Ampofo was sworn-in by someone who claims to be the chairman of a non-existing Board of Trustees. [For the avoidance of doubt, reference can be made to Article 25(a) (i)].

In sum, and as far as Article 2 (c) of the 201 NUGS Constitution is concerned, or unless proven otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction, the entire election was a rush-through process, Dennis Appiah Larbi-Ampofo is illegally imposed, and the so-called swearing-in ceremony which ushered him in as the President of NUGS is non-existent, null, void and of no effect.

I want to end by sounding this word of caution, that I am not afraid of any intimidation of any kind, shape, or form. I am firm and even more resolute than before and will remain so till I breathe last, or until we get to the logical conclusion of this matter.

Arise Ghana youth for your country!

Aluta Continua…!

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