General News of Saturday, 22 July 2017
Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will fight and ensure that the chair of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, is not removed from office, Bolgatanga Central MP Isaac Adongo has said.
According to him, the office of the Chair of the EC is a constitutional office that must be protected from the influence of anybody or entity, hence the decision to resist the removal of Mrs Osei from office.
His comments follows the filing of a petition by unnamed EC staff with President Nana Akufo-Addo requesting the removal of Mrs Osei for allegedly terminating a contract with STL and unilaterally renegotiating a contract with a vendor of the EC for $21,999,592 without the knowledge of her deputies or other commissioners.
The petition, signed by the lawyer for the staff, Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, said Mrs Osei’s cancellation of a contract between the EC and Superlock Technologies Limited (STL) – a company contracted to supply and manage Biometric Voter Registration machines (BVRs) and the Biometric Voter Devices (BVDs) – coupled with her ordering of the payment of $76,000 to IT firm Dream Oval, were fraudulent.
Mrs Osei has since reacted to the allegations, describing them as “frivolous”, “bogus” and as “lies”.
Contributing to a discussion on TV3’s New Day on Saturday July 22, Mr Adongo said: “We have to make sure that [heads of] constitutional bodies are able to run their offices and have their tenure protected by everybody.
“We have to be able to investigate whether this is just a continuation of a process that was begun even when she was appointed. In our view, if you start a process to remove the EC chair we [the NDC] have a major stake in that process. We are watching keenly, we are very determined to resist any attempt whatsoever to want to remove that woman from her office because we saw Afari Gyan come under several such attacks.
“This is an office that we have to protect, we have to ensure that office is given the serenity and the kind of stability that it desires in order to transcend different political parties and governments.
“We in the NDC are very mindful of the fact that we have to ensure that we don’t politicise constitutional offices. If we are able to cross that bridge Ghana will be better for all of us.”