Pressure group, Let My Vote Count, is unamused with the alleged decision by the Attorney General (AG) not to prosecute Electoral Commission officials who confessed to the Northern Regional police for tampering with pink sheets.
In a statement issued in Accra yesterday, the pressure group noted that ‘this criminal offence goes to the heart of our electoral integrity, especially when the EC workers involved are permanent staff, because in recent times, commissioners of the EC, including the Chairman and his deputies, have toured the country blaming ‘temporary staff’ for the violations, omissions, malpractices and irregularities associated with the 2012 elections.’ The following is the full statement.
It has come to our attention that the Attorney General has concluded that the three Electoral Commission officials who confessed to the Northern Regional police to tampering with pink sheets have no case to answer.
We demand to know, and the people of Ghana have a right to know, how the Attorney-General came to this perverse conclusion of directing that no charges must be brought against the Deputy Northern Regional Director of the EC, Godfrey Okeley, Akumani Benjamin Akanda, the Savelugu-Nanton District Electoral Officer and Salamatu Osman, a purported National Service personnel of the EC in Savelugu.
The three were arrested, through the vigilance of ordinary citizens, for allegedly gathering presiding officers to sign to validate results declaration forms (pink sheets) two months after the December 2012 elections. Incidentally, this omission forms part of the case currently before the Supreme Court, challenging the results of the presidential election.
The decision to clear the three officers, who are on record for confessing to the offence, suggests the likelihood of a clear conspiracy between the government (ruling National Democratic Congress) and the Electoral Commission to tamper with evidence, and by so doing pervert the course of justice, thereby, frustrating efforts by the Supreme Court to deliver justice in the 2012 Presidential Election Petition currently before it.
We are calling on the President to probe this issue and summon his Attorney General to officially explain to the people of Ghana why she has chosen not to prosecute these three EC officials. This kind of impunity should not be entertained particularly at this tense period for our country and the fate of our democracy.
The charge of tampering with pink sheets by EC officials, months after the presidential election and at a time that the EC, the President and the NDC were all preparing their defence to the petition challenging the election results is a serious matter and the contemptuous manner in which the Attorney General has gone about this issue deserves a probe.
This criminal offence goes to the heart of our electoral integrity, especially when the EC workers involved are permanent staff, because in recent times, commissioners of the EC, including the Chairman and his deputies, have toured the country blaming ‘temporary staff’ for the violations, omissions, malpractices and irregularities associated with the 2012 elections.
To the members of Let My Vote Count, the charge of tampering with electoral evidence at this time is a serious matter which we believe the Supreme Court must even take an interest in, because if the Police had been allowed to continue with their investigation, with the suspects confessing as they were, and not ordered to stop barely 24 hours after the investigation began, it could have gone all the way to the top to tell us how deep and widespread was the whole conspiracy to tamper with the evidence in the election petition case.
By this decision of the A-G, it appears to us that the President is conniving with the EC, through his Attorney General, to pervert the course of justice in a seeming effort to continue to impose himself illegitimately on the people of Ghana.
President Mahama should remember that, before the Supreme Court rules otherwise, he is not only the leader of NDC, but leader of Ghana, and must ensure that his Attorney General does things that rather allow justice to take its rightful course.
Without rule of law, we are opening the gates of Ghana wide for chaos and anarchy to invade us and colonise us. This must not be allowed to happen.