Mr. Alex Nyarko-Opoku gave the response in a letter dated May 26, 2016 and addressed to Mr. Esiape’s solicitor, Prof. Ken A. Attafuah, Managing Solicitor, Ken Attafuah Law Place.

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Prof. Attafuah last week demanded that UNICOF Management Committee immediately withdraw the suspension by the close of yesterday May 26, 2016, and that failure to adhere to this demand would “compel” Mr. Esiapeto “ventilate his rights at the appropriate forum.”

Responding to the demands yesterday, the UNICOF National Chairman acknowledged receipt of the solicitor’s letter dated 18th May, 2016 regarding the suspension, and that it will be referred to the Management Committee as soon as possible for their consideration and necessary action.

Mr. Nyarko-Opoku continued: “We can assure you that the Management Committee would consider the matters raised in the solicitor’s letter in good faith and revert.”

On May 13, 2016, Mr. Nyarko-Opoku, signed a letter of suspension issued to Mr. Esiape stating that the UNICOF General Secretary has been suspended with effect from May 13 till the investigative panel looking into allegations of malfeasance brought against Mr. Esiape has concluded its work..

However, Prof. Attafuah described the suspension letter as offending and stressed the call for its withdrawal because it was “an illegality, a breach of the rules of natural justice, and a violation of the Constitution of UNICOF.”

Outliningsome of the reasons for the demand of the withdrawal, he said first, the panel investigating his client for sundry allegations of misconduct has not concluded its work; and second, his client has not been found guilty of gross misconduct by any lawful entity.

Third,suspension constitutes punishment under the laws of the Republic of Ghana; and fourth, the Management Committee of UNICOF was not clothed with jurisdiction to impose any suspension on the General Secretary of the UNICOF.

The embattled UNICOF General Secretary was interdicted on October 19, 2015 to make way for investigations into allegations made against Mr. Esiape by the UNICOF Staff Union. As of May 4, 2016, the Committee investigating him had not produced anything to make him culpable for any wrongs.
Suspension of Mr. Esiape – A Panic Reaction by UNICOF Management Committee
Documents show that the decision by the UNICOF Management Committee for the suspension was apanic response to an earlier letter from Mr. Esiape’s solicitor on May 5, 2016.

This letter demanded the full reinstatement of Mr. Esiape since the commencement of the interdiction up to this period was beyond the sixmonthslegally allowed duration of indictments.

In accordance with law, Prof Attafuah wrote to the UNICOF National Chairman asking for Mr. Esiape’s reinstatement as nothing has been found against him in the over six months that the interdiction has been going on, and therefore should be returned to office as stated in law.

He also demanded the payment of entitlements illegally withheld from Mr. Esiape quoting Regulation 8 of Labour Regulation 2007 L.I. 1833 that says that an employee under interdiction should be paid at least half of his salaries for six months of the duration of an indictment. Some observers believe that not reverting to full salary payment after six (6) months would be a blatant breach of the L.I.

Persons familiar with the matter said that rather than applying a knee jerk reaction in the form of a suspension on Mr. Esiape, the UNICOF National Chairman and the Management Committee should have subjected the matter to a legal perspective to resolve the issues. But as it is now, they have become entangled in a matter that has far reaching and complicated legal implications.

Yesterday Labour watchers waited to see how the UNICOF Management Committee would deal with the demand to withdraw the suspension letter against Mr. Esiape.

A lot of options are open in the next course of action for Mr. Esiape as the UNICOF National Chairman and the Management Committeehave not withdrawn the letter of suspension, Persons familiar with the matter remarked.

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