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Sad: NPP’s Sir John Passes On

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Sir John

Former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, is dead.

He is reported to have died in Accra after a short illness.


Until his death, Sir John was the CEO of the Forestry Commission.

He died after testing positive for Covid-19.


He succumbed to complications of the disease while undergoing treatment at the ICU of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Mr Owusu Afriyie became CEO of the Forestry Commission in March 2018 after being appointed to that position by President Akufo-Addo.

The lawyer cum politician had previously served as general secretary of the governing party between 2010 and 2014.


In July 2013, Afriyie was summoned to the Supreme Court of Ghana because he had made some potentially contemptuous comments.

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He had criticised the Court for its actions in a criminal contempt case involving Sammy Awuku of the New Patriotic Party.

This was after he had implied that the justices’ continuous mention of public radio discussions on cases that were before the court was a ploy by the court to curtail people from expressing themselves.


Upon appearing before the court, his counsel, Ayikoi Otoo, pleaded with the court to be lenient and declared that his client had pleaded guilty to the charge.

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According to Ayikoi Otoo, “… some power for which no one had control over, entered Owusu Afriyie, because as a lawyer, he ought to have known the law”.

The Peace Council also offered a plea on Afriyie’s behalf to the court. After a brief trial, Afriyie was fined ¢5000 cedis or, if he defaulted on payment, a six-month prison term.

Afriyie was made to sign a bond of good behaviour as well as retracting and offering an apology to the bench within 24 hours on the same platform he had used to criticise the court.

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Sir John was born in the Ashanti Region and he attended Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School in Bekwai from where he obtained his GCE Ordinary level certificate.

He proceeded to obtain his GCE Advanced level certificate from Konongo Odumase Secondary School in Konongo.

Mr Owusu Afriyie was admitted to study political science at the University of Ghana after which he enrolled at the Ghana School of Law where he graduated with Bachelor of Laws.

He was then admitted as a solicitor and counsel for the Supreme Court of Ghana.