General News of Saturday, 22 July 2017
Flagbearer for the All People’s Congress (APC), Hassan Ayariga has questioned the rationale behind the NDC’s defense of the Electoral Commissioner, Charlotte Osei following petitions requesting for her impeachment.
Members of the National Democratic Congress at a press conference on Thursday, indicated their commitment to resisting government’s efforts to “witch-hunt” the EC Boss who was appointed by the Mahama administration. They insist that they find it that the same person who declared the NPP President after Ghanaians voted will work against her now that they are in office.
This comes after some aggrieved members of the commission filed a petition to the President and Chief Justice, requesting that the EC Chair be impeached for violating some provisions per the constitution and perpetrating acts of fraud and malfeasance while in office.
Speaking to Accra based Class FM, Mr. Ayariga said he doesn’t understand the need for members of the NDC to be so defensive about the issue. He said that their action suggests that Mrs. Osei may be a member of the NDC because until someone belongs to a party or a group, it’s members cannot complain about “witch-hunting”.
“My concern here is that, I don’t understand why the NDC as a party and a group of people are defending the EC Boss and asking the President not to do witch-hunting. When you say witch- hunting, witch hunting means that the person that is witch-hunted is a member of your party. If you say that the government is witch-hunting the EC boss does it mean that the EC Boss is a member of the NDC? That’s my problem”, he said.
Mr. Ayariga opined that these were grave allegations that ought to be taken seriously if they are investigated and validated.
“I have read the letter or the petition that some group of EC workers sent to the President. I read many of the allegations and I assume that if all these allegations are true, then that’s very serious because we are told that the EC Chair used GHC 4million to renovate her residence.
I think it is on the higher side, without even the approval of the commission, I think it is abuse of power. And then they made mention of she using $ 4million to award a contract to a company that is associated with her, that is also abuse of power, if it is true”, he stated
According to Mr. Ayariga, the petition despite being filed by unknown faces should be considered. He maintained that the supposed workers may have genuine reasons for having signed the petition adding that it should not be considered a move being spearheaded by government since no member of the NPP was mentioned in the petition as having pushed for it.
“We don’t need to know who the petitioners are for now. What is important is that the petition was signed by somebody on behalf of those people, that is enough because the person cannot sign on behalf of himself without giving an authority to do that. Here is the case, he is a lawyer and has been given the mandate to write the petition on their behalf to be sent to the President”
“Let me put it clear that it is not members of the NPP that petitioned the President. It was not members of the APC that petitioned the President but it was members of the commission. They say that she was abusing her powers as a member, she is not doing things right, she is not involving them in meetings and other issues and she is arrogant”, he added.
He described as bias and hypocritical, the actions of persons calling on the President to ignore the petition.
“I will call it hypocritical for some institutions like Peace Council to call on the President to be careful with how he impeaches the EC boss”.
“When APC in 2016 was disqualified without proper reasoning, I did not hear Peace Council coming out to say that the EC should thread cautiously or the EC should be careful because we are practicing multi-party democracy and for that matter, we want multi party participation”, he said.
Chairperson for the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei has been in the news for alleged misconduct and violations of some provisions of the 1992 Constitution regarding her office, conduct and duties.
Some concerned workers of the Electoral Commission (EC) petitioned the President and Her Ladyship, the Chief Justice to begin impeachment processes against their Chairperson.
The petition, signed by private legal practitioner, Maxwell Opoku Agyemang who is counsel for the petitioners, accused Mrs. Charlotte Osei of breaching in many instances, the Procurement Law in procuring goods and services for the Commission.
They claimed that she, unilaterally and without recourse to procurement procedures, engaged the services of lawyers, [email protected] who represented the Commission in the pre-election legal banter with aggrieved parties and disqualified flagbearers.
Following the petition, Lawyers of Mrs. Charlotte Osei in a letter threatened a lawsuit against the petitioners for defamation of their client. They demanded a list of names of the aggrieved workers posing the allegations.
Subsequently, Mrs. Osei has been summoned before the house in Parliament and is expected to appear next week before the house for questioning.
Meanwhile some persons following the petition have called on the President to protect Mrs. Charlotte Osei and or be careful in handling the issue. Deputy Minister of Tourism, Dzifa Gomashie appealed to the President to protect the EC Boss.
The National Peace Council has also urged the concerned workers at the Electoral Commission to resort to dialogue as a means of solving the issue rather than seeking for impeachment.