General News of Sunday, 23 July 2017
Deputy Local Government Minister O.B. Amoah, has said that the internal wrangling at the Electoral Commission and the latest petition to impeach the Electoral Commission Chair, Charlotte Osei is not an unexpected development.
According to him, there have been deep divisions among all seven commissioners at the Electoral Commission particularly since the Chair, Charlotte Osei took over from her predecessor, Dr. Afari Gyan.
“Whether we like it or not, there appears to be a major division at the EC, and for some of us who have worked closely with the EC for some time, this is unprecedented but at the same time something that was expected”, he said.
“The Chair came in as a new person in 2015, she took over from the great Afari Gyan and then there were speculations about who was to be appointed the chair, eventually, it fell on Charlotte Osei….somehow, it was becoming obvious that there were some divisions and tension at the place, especially among the seven commissioners”, he added.
Speaking on Newsfile on Joynews, Mr. Amoah maintained that a submission made by Majority Leader on the floor of parliament earlier this year, if had been considered rather than overlooked, would have done a great deal of solving some of the issues emerging today.
“The Majority Leader in March, 29th March when he submitted the report of the Special Budget Committee on the Estimates of the Electoral Commission made one major observation that was later denied by the EC but which has come to haunt all of us”
Mr. Amoah quoted the Majority Leader as having said from page 7 paragraph 9 of the report; observations and recommendations “there are deep rooted mistrusts and especially between the chairperson and her deputy commissioners, this undoubtedly negatively impact on the operations of the commission. The committee therefore wishes to recommend to the Chairperson and members of the commission to deal with one another in a much more open and transparent manner in order to eradicate the existing mistrust and also win the confidence of one another for harmonious working relationships and in the supreme interest of the country”.
According to him, a letter from EOCO to the commission demanding that the Chair orders two officers including one of her deputies to proceed on leave was also a major contributing factor to the wranglings.
EOCO in a letter dated July 4, 2017, addressed to the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei, said it was investigating “the loss of about GH¢480,000 from the Endowment Fund at the Electoral Commission.”
Deputy Commissioner, Georgina Opoku Amankwaah and Chief Accountant Kwaku OwusuAgyei-Larbi were cited as key suspects according to the letter and were therefore asked to proceed on leave to assist investigations.
Lawyers of Ms. Opoku Amankwa responded following the instructions. In a letter to the Chair of the Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei, they indicated their client’s refusal to comply with the directive to “proceed on leave” based on the suggestions of the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) because it was an “unconstitutional” order.
Mr. O.B Amoah believes that the move by EOCO could have contributed to a large extent, the mix-up at the commission and the petition for impeachment against the Chairperson.
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.
Charlotte Osei has also written to respond to each of the 27 allegations levelled against her by some Concerned Staff of the Electoral Commission.
EC boss debunks allegations levelled against her by unfazed staff by GhanaWeb on Scribd