General News of Thursday, 27 July 2017
Some Members of Parliament are divided over a proposal calling for removal of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and her two deputies for investigations into their activities at the Commission to begin.
The Institute of Democratic Governance, (IDEG), mooted the proposal and said, an acting commissioner should be appointed during the period but some members of Parliament are divided on the matter.
The MP for Keta, Richard Quarshigah believes IDEG’s proposal is unnecessary.
“I think it is unnecessary and premature. A petition was sent to the President and the President is required by law to forward that to the Chief Justice so the law should take its course. For the suggestion that the Commissioner and her deputies to step aside, you have not actually firmed up any conclusive issues against them. Most of the things we are hearing are largely rumours and it will not be proper to just say on rumours that they should step aside. We must have solid evidence before we ask them to step aside,” he said.
The Member of Parliament for Kpandai in the Northern Region, Matthew Nyindam is however backing the proposal.
He believes the move will prevent the Commissioners from interfering with investigations.
“I would not say it is not a good course. It is laudable looking at the kind of allegations they have thrown against each other’s. They are accusing each other and they are all sitting on the same desk and if the President has forwarded the application or the petition to the Chief Justice and there will be investigations I think that it is a good cause for them to step aside because if they are sitting on it, it may be assumed that they will tamper with evidence that may be available to whoever will conduct investigations …”
Madam Charlotte Osei and her deputies have come under intense pressure to resign, following allegations of corruption made against her by employees of the Commission in a petition and her response, which highlighted corrupt practices at the Commission. Tensions at the EC became public after employees of the Commission petitioned President Akufo-Addo to dismiss Charlotte Osei for alleged financial malfeasance.
The aggrieved employees claimed among others that Mrs. Osei awarded a GHc 3.9 million contract for work on an office complex without consulting the Commission.
Mrs. Osei however rubbished the allegations in her response to the employees, and fired some accusations at the Deputy Commissioner in-charge of Operations at the EC, Amadu Sulley.
She has sued the employees for making what she described as unsubstantiated allegations against her.
Meanwhile the said petition has been forwarded to the Chief Justice.