General News of Friday, 21 July 2017
The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako thinks that the petition filed by some workers of the Electoral Commission (EC) asking for the removal of Mrs Charlotte Osei as chairperson of the EC is “incompetent.”
He said after reading the contents of the petition filed by the “faceless, nameless” concerned workers of the commission, he has come to the conclusion that it is “really incompetent.”
He argued the petition was more of an internal issue following a rift between the top officials regarding an ongoing turf war.
Adding, he said he has respect for the lawyer behind the petition, Mr Maxwell Opoku Agyemang.
“We are not friends as such but I think he is a good lawyer, I have read the contents of the petition and it is really incompetent,” he said.
“It [petition] suffers a certain deficit here, its facelessness and namelessness is worrying,” Mr Baako said in a television discussion programme on Metro TV.
Indicating he has a personal relationship with the EC boss, because she is his relative and that could likely cloud his analysis of the issue, the renowned senior journalist said the whole matter was more of an internally generated issue at the EC which would end no where, predicting that the people behind the petition would be “grossly embarrassed.”
“I will tell you, I’m reserving my views on the specifics but I have done my search, they are going to be embarrassed. They are going to be grossly embarrassed. You see these things are done on basis of records. As for the politics, the conspiracy theories, I won’t bother myself there. You have people like Kennedy Agyapong and the rest who have attacked the woman before but that is not part of this matter. I’m telling you, that is not part of this matter.”
He said it was worrying that the petitioners coming under Article 146 would want to hide their face.
When it was suggested to him that the petitioners may be thinking that if the petition does not end well, it may cost them their jobs hence the decision to withhold their identity for now, Mr Baako questioned; “Why do you anticipate it will not end well if you think you have the evidence to back such a serious petition you are forwarding to a President, which the President under law will forward to the Chief Justice for impeachment proceedings to begin. That’s a serious matter, boy! No joke, you understand.”
“We have to enhance our governance credibility in respect of accountability, this is all that they are saying, they are talking probity and accountability, and in principle, I’m full with that.”
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“Any Ghanaian anywhere anytime who smells a rat relative to public office whether they are independent creatures of the Constitution and are supposed to have independence or not, is immaterial, once you smell it, prepare well and proceed to the appropriate forum.”
“I will be surprised even though I’m told by the lawyers that the President has no obligation, has no choice but to forward it “
Read also: Petition: EC Chair Charlotte Osei to sue accusers
Mr Baako argued that “the shall” in the Constitution that makes it mandatory for the President to forward such petitions, “pushing such an incompetent, faceless thing, maybe they should revise this document, they should put names to it, to help the President know that he is not dealing with people who are hiding under the cover of anonymity, they haven’t come under a Whistle Blowers Act, they haven’t asked us to give them protection, ok, so I don’t know. I will tell you, I’m reserving my views on the specifics, but I have done my search, they are going to be embarrassed,” he said.
“This matter is more an internally generated thing. There is some rift in the EC at the top and perhaps, this thing maybe will help in a way. It is going to expose a lot of rot and the perpetrators of the rot.
“Even if this thing doesn’t get to the CJ for impeachment, because I don’t see how it will go through, because if the CJ sits on this petition, they will come out that there is no prima facie case and the faceless gentlemen or ladies at this stage cannot provide anything of evidence value to back their argument, because the records are available, hardcore records… minutes and things. All the things about one man show will be just thrown into a dustbin because there will be records.”
“It hurts me that the lady is my relative so whatever I say will be clouded with the emotional attachment, so that’s why I disclosed and that is why perhaps I will be a bit cautious on how I handle this matter, but I believe sincerely that even short of the impeachment thing, if there was the need for an investigation of some sort into this thing, it suffers a constitutional challenge that it is not properly framed, structured,” he said.