General News of Monday, 17 July 2017
A director of Electoral Commission (EC) at Madina, Mr. Owusu Ansah, who could not rise above political pressure and manipulation to prove his integrity as required of him, has landed himself in trouble for supervising a fraudulent electoral process during the confirmation of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) nominee for La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly last Wednesday.
Although the nominee, Ms Jennifer Dede Afagbedzi, could not secure the mandatory two-thirds votes for the second time to get the endorsement as required by law, the EC officer, under bizarre circumstances, proceeded to declare the embattled MCE nominee as approved.
Journalists were sacked to prevent them from reporting on the illegality and intimidation of assembly members led by New Patriotic Party (NPP) activist, Hopeson Yaovi Adorye, backed by thugs belonging to the party’s Invincible Forces.
As the confusion ensued, Mr. Hopeson Adorye, who had no locus in the election, took one ballot paper, fraudulently thump printed it for the nominee and dropped it into the box. Ms Jennifer Dede Afagbedzi, was thus declared winner, irrespective of the fraud manifested by over voting.
Out of thirteen (13) assembly members who voted, the nominee polled eight (8) ‘YES’ votes, whilst five members voted ‘NO’. But strangely, a supporter of the nominee, who has no locus in the election, allegedly thumb-printed one ballot paper ‘YES’ in the full glare of the EC director, and added it to the results, since the nominee needed just one vote to sail through.
However, some of the assembly members, led by the Presiding Member (PM), Alhaji Fuseini Ibrahim Faila, who would not allow such an illegality to occur, are heading to court to declare the results null and void and stop the MCE from being sworn into office.
The five Assembly members heading to court are; Alhaji Fuseini Ibrahim Faila, Presiding Member (PM), Abdul Rahman Rahim –Chairman of Finance and Administration Sub-committee, Ishmael Rama Blay – Chairman for Social Service Committee, Abdul Aziz Yakubu – Chairman of Development Planning Committee and Choro Adams–Works Sub-Committee.
This disgraceful incident, which occurred like a drama, Hopeson Adorye with instructions from ‘above’ led over thirty macho men, who are members of the dreaded Invisible Forces and heavily armed police officers to storm the venue for the event.
With the backing from the Municipal Coordinating Director and in the full glare of the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Elizabeth Sackey, the thugs sacked all the journalists, took over the ballot box and physically intimidated five assembly members, who refused to be compromised and voted against the nominee.
The PM, who was at the time vocal and attempted to stop the illegal act from happening, was badly manhandled and it took the intervention of two of the thugs who knew him personally to rescue him.
How The Fraud Occurred
Narrating how the fraudulent confirmation election process occurred to The Herald in an interview, Alhaji Fuseini Faila, said on that Wednesday when the election was conducted, the nominee polled eight (8) ‘YES’ votes, out of thirteen (13) assembly members; whilst five people voted ‘NO’.
According to him, when the MCE nominee, could not secure the two-third majority votes, he then as the Presiding Member adjourned sitting of the day, in order to fix a different date for the election, since the nominee has another chance.
He indicated that, soon after the adjournment was made and seconded, some of their members, essentially those who voted against her, left the venue and were about going home.
According to him, they received information that, the Coordinating Director and Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, had secretly ordered for another election for the eight assembly members, who voted in favour of the nominee.
By law and Standing Orders of the assembly, he said only the presiding member was mandated to call for such elections. However, the opposite was what transpired, as the powerful Deputy Regional Minister and Coordinating Director out of desperation, ordered the assembly members to appoint one of them to act as the PM.
Alhaji Fuseini Faila, said he as the substantive PM, quickly rushed into the venue, to attempt to stop the illegality, but at that point, the NPP thugs brought to the venue by Mr. Adorye, pounced on him.
He told The Herald that, sensing danger since his life was at stake; he called his colleagues to enter the hall and also take part in the election, knowing very well that the nominee will still not secure the required votes she would need to go through.
Interestingly, Alhaji Fuseini Faila, said after voting has ended and counting was done, the results turned out the same, eight ‘YES’ against five ‘NO’ again.
Shockingly, he said that, Mr. Adorye, who had no locus in the election, removed one of the blank ballot papers, thumb-printed it and put it in the box to be counted, since the nominee only needed just one vote to sail through.
The PM said, they swiftly objected to the development and drew the Electoral Commissioner’s attention that if he accepted that ‘outside’ vote, an over-voting would be recorded. But strangely, however, Alhaji Fuseini Faila, said the Electoral Commissioner out of political pressure, did not listen to him and his colleagues and went ahead to announce the results, thereby declaring the woman duly elected.
At the time of filling this report, Alhaji Fuseini Faila and his colleague assembly members, who refused to be compromised, are preparing to drag the EC and those involved to court.
He said, as men of conviction, they would do everything possible within the realm of the laws, to seek justice for the right thing to be done.
Meanwhile, some Madina Constituency executives, opinion leaders and youth of the NPP, are threatening to ditch the party and will no longer be members and activists, if the woman is forced on them.
They believed, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Francis Asenso Okyere, Captain Edmund Kwadwo Koda, as well as some self-seeking state officials at Flagstaff House, are those scheming to foist Madam Dede Afagbedzi on the Assembly.