General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017
Chairman of the National Peace Council Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante has said calls for the commissioners of the Electoral Commission to step aside following mud-slinging among themselves are premature.
The Chairman of the Council said stepping aside is “jumping the gun”.
There is a leadership crisis at the electoral management body. What began as a petition from some staff demanding the impeachment of the chair Charlotte Osei has blown out into a full media war.
The accused, Charlotte Osei has fought back roping in two of her deputy commissioners in allegations some of which border on crime.
One of the commissioners, Georgina Opoku Amankwah, a lawyer, has also responded extensively to claims by the chair.
The unprecedented fracas at the commission has prompted calls for the commissioners to step aside to allow for full-scale investigations into the allegations.
Before the chaos began, one of the commissioners, Georgina Opoku Amankwah was asked to proceed on leave to allow investigations into a separate matter of a missing GHC480,000.
Stepping in, the National Peace Council chair Rev. Emmanuel Asante has asked the commissioners to cease fire.
“I will plead with them…they should stop this trial in the media,” he said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday.
“They have stated their case and they should allow due process to take place”.
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) is reportedly investigating the original petition by some anonymous staff calling for the impeachment of Charlotte Osei.
President Akufo-Addo who has also received the petition which may be forwarded (if that has not been done already) to the Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo as prescribed by law.
He said if, after investigations, it is appropriate that the commissioners step aside then “let it be.”
Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante who is also the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana also pleaded with political parties not to “add fuel to the fire” at the EC.
Ghana Integrity Initiative’s Linda Ofori has expressed surprise at the revelations at the Electoral Commission.
She agreed with Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante that the step-aside calls are premature.
She said the nature of the allegations which include illegal voter transfers, procurement violations, awarding of contracts to cronies and the abuse of office are “damaging enough” to the image of the commission.
Linda Ofori expressed worry that the Presidency is yet to react to the row which is enters Day five
She, however, believes the content of the responses from the Chair and deputy commissioner Georgina Opoku Amankwah suggests the relationship between the chair and her commissioners is damaged beyond repair.
“It will be very surprising when all is said and done and due process has been followed that we will have the two of them still at the commission and still working together effectively,” she said.