General News of Saturday, 8 July 2017
The Member of Parliament for Efutu Constituency, Alexander Afenyo Markin has challenged the decision of Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei to order some top officers of the Commission to proceed on leave following a report from the Economic and Organized Crime Organization (EOCO) indicating the officers.
According to him, although EOCO has the power to look into such matters and make its report available to the Electoral Commissioner, it does not have the power to direct her on what do to.
EOCO earlier this week said it was investigating some top officials of the Commission over the loss of some GHs480,000 from the Commission’s Endowment Fund.
The Commission’s Deputy Chairperson in-charge of Finance and Administration, Georgina Opoku Amankwah, Chief Accountant, Kwaku Owusu Agyei-Larbi and Finance Officer, Joseph Kwaku Asamoah were said to have been identified by EOCO as the ‘suspects’.
A letter written to the Chair of the EC, Charlotte Osei, dated July 4th, 2017 from the Acting Executive Director of EOCO, ACP K. K Amoah(Rtd) said ‘the suspects are assisting in investigations’.
The letter further stated that the officers in question should be made to proceed on leave, while investigations proceed.
Further checks however by Citi News reveal that the officials were on Wednesday directed to proceed on leave by the chairperson, Charlotte Osei. But speaking on Eyewitness News on Friday, Afenyo Markin said the decision to ask the suspects to proceed on leave must be grounded in law.
“EOCO has the mandate to investigate such issues. What I’m a bit worried about is the language of proceed on leave. If EOCO so desires to advise the EC that these people that we are investigating, we hold the view that their continues stay of the in office may undermine the outcome of the investigations, therefore interdict them, so be it. But if EOCO writes to tell Madam Chair to direct some people to proceed on leave.”
“She must not direct someone to proceed on leave because EOCO says so, EOCO should ground its reasons in law,” he said.
He, however, said the Electoral Commissioner can interdict the officers if she finds it necessary to do so in accordance with law.