General News of Friday, 21 July 2017
The National Peace Council is urging aggrieved staff of the Electoral Commission and the Commission’s Chair, Charlotte Osei, to commit their grievances to dialogue in order to quell further row.
Chairman of the Council, Rev. Prof Emmanuel Asante, an escalation of the tension at the elections administration state institution would mar its independence.
“I have had the privilege to read what they [EC staff] have written, and what she has also written in defence. I will caution that for the good of this country, we need an Electoral Commission that is united therefore no matter what the problems are they must find ways and means of addressing these kinds of issues.
“If it is possible for them to use arbitration to address this internal problem that they might have the better,” Rev Prof Asante said.
Some unnamed group of workers have petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo to remove Charlotte Osei through a counsel, alleging among other things that she single-handedly renegotiated contracts to the tune of almost $22 million without recourse to the Public Procurement Act.
The petition also claims that the EC Chair’s posturing during last year’s general election almost plunged the entire country into instability.
In a sharp rebuttal, Mrs Charlotte Osei has also threatened the faceless staff with a defamation suit through her own lawyer, Thaddeus Sory.
Thaddeus Sory has therefore written to Maxwell Opoku Agyemang, lawyer for the petitioners, demanding that he presents the names and identities of the workers of the EC so that legal action will be taken against them, failing which he the lawyer will be named as the defendant.
However, the Peace Council has said the tension at the Commission could escalate to destructive levels.
“I will think that the authorities that be will use their good offices to put in place an arbitration team to sit and listen to both sides,” said Rev. Prof Asante.