General News of Tuesday, 3 March 2015
The chairman of the Electoral Commission Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan must be prosecuted for causing financial loss to the state following the cancellation of the District Assembly Elections, a pro-opposition group Movement for Change said.
A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court last Friday declared the March 3 district assembly elections unconstitutional. The judges unanimously ruled the Electoral Commission must reopen nominations after one Benjamin Eyi Mensah, a fisherman aspiring to become the assemblyman for the Eyipeh Electoral Area within the Effutu District of the Central Region, dragged the Electoral Commission to the apex Court over the election body’s refusal to register him as an aspirant for the District Assembly and Unit Committee Elections.
His disqualification was premised on late submission of his nomination forms.
But in a statement to the media, Movement for Change members said “it is imperative to note that the attention of Mr Kwadwo Afari Gyan was drawn to the strict adherence to law regarding the holding of the District Assembly and Unit Committee elections. He was cautioned on several occasions to allow C.I 85 to mature before his outfit commences preparatory work ahead of these elections.
“The chairman of the subsidiary Legislation committee, Hon Osei Bonsu Amoah is on record to have strongly cautioned the EC to that effect. The Minority Leader, Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, also, at a point, indicated that this act of impunity and lawlessness must not be countenanced. He added that as a matter of law, once the CI had then not matured, it was inappropriate for the commission to open nominations for contestants of the upcoming Assembly elections. The MP for Wa West, Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh is also reported to have stated that it is about time people are held responsible for their lapses and for that matter the EC should act responsibly.”
It added: “Dr. Afari Gyan and his other Deputy Commissioners, with impunity, recklessness and without recourse to the Law, commenced with the conduct of the District Asembly and Unit Committee election when conspicuously the C1 85 had not matured.
“It is extremely unfortunate to note that because of the recklessness and irresponsible act of Afari Gyan & Co Six thousand, one hundred and 56 (6,156) electoral areas across the country that are covered under the new C.I. have been affected badly.
“The State, as well as candidates who had put themselves up to contest have suffered huge losses. These losses cannot just be swept under the carpet. At a time when the nation is broke and reeling under both economic hardship and this monstrous power crisis, Dr Afari Gyan & Co have just, through their arrogance, caused financial loss to the state running into millions of Ghana cedis.
“Chapter four (4) of the Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29) under the Special Offences specifically Section 179A (1) and (3) states categorically that: “ Any person who by a wilful act or omission causes loss, damage or injury to the property of any public body or any agency of the State commits an offence. (3) Any person through whose wilful, malicious or fraudulent action or omission— (a) The State incurs a financial loss; or (b) The security of the State is endangered, commits an offence.
“Members of the Movement for Change are of the view that the law must guide heads of Public sector institutions who are accountable to the citizenry. We therefore call for the immediate resignation of Mr Afari Gyan & Co. They must further be prosecuted for wilfully causing huge financial loss to the state. We also encourage all aggrieved persons who might have suffered any loss to institute an action against Afari Gyan & Co for acting lawlessly and negligently,” the statement signed by its chairman Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare and three others said.