General News of Thursday, 27 July 2017
A private legal practitioner, Lawyer David Annan is calling on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to sit with the three Commissioners of the Electoral Commission to settle the feud ensuing among them.
The raging public controversy started when the EC Chairperson caused the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to investigate some officials of the Electoral Commission over the loss of GHc 480,000 Cedis from the Commission’s Endowment Fund.
As part of the investigations, the officials including the Commission’s Deputy Chairperson in-charge of Finance and Administration, Georgina Opoku Amankwah were directed to proceed on leave.
Few days after the EOCO investigations were made public, Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, acting as the lawyer for some unnamed workers of the Electoral Commission submitted a petition to the President of the Republic of Ghana under Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution for the removal of Mrs Charlotte Osei as Chairperson for the Electoral Commission.
In the 29-point petition, it was alleged that Mrs Osei single-handedly renegotiated the contract with the vendor without the involvement of the members of the Commission, not even the deputies.
She then awarded the contract to the tune of $21,999,592m without going through tender contrary to the Public Procurement Act.
The Chairperson then re-awarded these contracts without approval from the Commission.
It was further alleged that Mrs. Osei “compromised the independence and neutrality of the Commission by arranging for a 2015 V8 Land Cruiser with registration WR 2291-15 from the office of the President for use as an official vehicle without going through the procurement process or recourse to the Commission.”
The aggrieved workers also alleged that Mrs Osei “unilaterally awarded a contract to the tune of GHc 3.9 million for demarcation and partitioning of the said office complex without recourse to the Commission” and “engaged in cronyism” by “awarding another contract to the tune of $14,310,961 (United State Dollars) to her cronies for the construction of Pre-Fabricated District offices without recourse to the Commission.”
A few days ago, the Chairperson of the EC put out in the media a 15-page response to the allegations contained in the petition. In her response, she also levelled serious allegations bothering on criminality against her two deputies.
In her response 6, she alleged that “the two Deputy Chairpersons signed two contracts with STL on 6 May 2015 for $22.3 (BVR) and $16.4m (BVD) respectively (copies attached and marked “CO6A). Letters were written to PPA on 15 May 2015 (copies attached and marked CO6B) seeking permission for sole sourcing AFTER the contracts had been signed.
The embattled deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission in charge of Corporate Services, Georgina Opoku-Amankwa, has launched a scathing attack on her boss, Charlotte Osei, claiming that the Chairperson of the electoral management body is inexperienced for the job she is occupying.
According to her, if the EC Chair had possessed the requisite experience in corporate service, the Commission wouldn’t have been in turmoil like what the public is witnessing at the moment.
Reacting to this brouhaha among the EC Commissioners, the NDC lawyer in an interview on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show averred that President Akufo-Addo should invite the three former heads of state in a round-table discussion with the Commissioners to settle their differences.
He reiterated that President Akufo-Addo should call the EC Commissioners to order as failure to do so will deepen the already divided commission which in the end will jeopardize the future of elections in the country.