General News of Monday, 10 July 2017
Ghana’s Former High Commissioner to India, Sam Pee Yalley has condemned the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) for violating the constitution.
According to him, per Article 46 of the 1992 constitution (which says “Except as provided in this Constitution or in any other law not inconsistent with this Constitution, in the performance of its functions, the Electoral Commission, shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority”) and section 3 of the Electoral Commission act, the EOCO is violating the constitution by asking some members of the EC to proceed on leave.
He has therefore asked President Akufo-Addo to call them to order since he swore to defend and protect the constitution.
EOCO, in a letter dated July 4, 2017, addressed to the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Madam Charlotte Osei, said it is investigating “the loss of about GH¢480,000 from the Endowment Fund at the Electoral Commission.”
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’.
The letter further stated that the officers in question should be made to proceed on leave, while investigations proceed.
However speaking to the issue during a panel discussion on Saturday’s edition of ‘Alhaji and Alhaji’ political programme on Radio Gold, the former Commissioner said: “the EOCO has no mandate whatsoever to direct the EC to do anything at all. Their role is to prevent and investigate crime against the republic or any institution which the state has financial interest in. the state does not have financial interest in the EC, it has Electoral interest in the EC and therefore this is a clear violation of the constitution and it’s a breach of the President’s oath. What we are dealing with is not state funds. It is under the NPRA”
EC Boss’ compliance
Sam Pee Yalley has also expressed disappointment in the EC Boss’ decision to comply with the letter written by EOCO.
According to him, Madam Charlotte Osei seems to have forgotten how the New Patriotic Party treated her prior to the 2016 elections and she’s rather dancing to their (NPP) tune.
“As they start against your other members using you, be careful who they will use against you. I am surprised that an institution like the Electoral Commission which is constitutionally defined is also being contaminated. This institution that has gained global respect is now being contaminated with fraud. Who gave you the right; Charlotte Osei to declare that woman (Georgina Opoku Amankwah) persona non grata in the EC? The EC is not your kiosk; it’s a body in the constitution.” he indicated.