General News of Wednesday, 2 August 2017
It is turning out that some of the payments made by political parties to the Electoral Commission (EC) as fees for supervising their primaries were paid to the Chairperson, Charlotte Osei.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is alleged to have made their payment of over GH¢4.1 million to the EC boss.
This allegation is contained in a defence being put up by the Deputy Commissioner in charge of Operations, Amadu Sulley – a copy of which DAILY GUIDE has sighted.
The EC boss and her two deputies – Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku-Amankwa, who is in-charge of Corporate Services – have been trading accusations and counter accusations since a petition was sent to the presidency by unnamed staff of the commission for the impeachment of Madam Charlotte Osei.
Another petition has roped in the two deputies over allegations against them and a committee to be set up by the Chief Justice is expected to investigate the three – including Mrs Charlotte Osei.
In the initial petition, the EC Chairperson was said to have allegedly abused her office and engaged in corruption.
Mrs. Charlotte Osei responded, parrying the allegations and ended up accusing her two deputies of corruption and sabotage.
GHC 6 Million
She said, for instance, that Amadu Sulley collected about GH¢6 million from political parties without recourse to the commission and added that apart from the money, the Operations Director also carried out illegal vote transfers in the run-up to the crucial 2016 general election.
“The Deputy Chairperson, Operations, collected funds above GH¢6m (Six million Ghana Cedis) in cash from some political parties for the organization of party primaries without recourse to the structures of the Commission, and without the involvement of the finance department of the Commission,” she had averred.
However, Amadu Sulley has hit back in a statement, insisting that he did nothing wrong and said it was rather Mrs. Osei who is on a mission to destroy them and others she did not want to see at the commission.
“I don’t understand the motive of the Chair to come out now and to make these unfortunate allegations against me,” he fumed in his response.
According to Amadu Sulley, the funds for the NDC primaries were provided in both cash and cheque and said, “The party submitted a cheque covering an amount of GH¢4,199,340 to the Chairperson of the Commission.” He gave the breakdown as cheque payment of GH¢4,199,340 and cash payment of GH¢1,410,422.
He said Mrs. Charlotte Osei then “called the Director of Elections and gave him the cheques to be sent to the Director of Finance to be paid into the accounts of the commission,” adding, “The Director of Finance indicated that it was not possible for the cheque to be paid into the commission’s accounts since it is not consistent to the financial regulations.”
According to the Operations Director, the EC does not have political parties’ primaries accounts and said there was going to be difficulty in auditing if the funds were paid into the commission’s account.
Mr Sulley said as a result, the cheque was returned to the EC boss who in turn gave them to the Director of Finance to be cashed by the help of the accounts section.
“The cheque was cashed by Edgar Gyawu of the Accounts and Francisca Sarfo of Elections Department. The Chief Accountant, Kweku Larbi, disbursed the funds to the regions,” he stated.
Mr Amadu Sulley attached the payment vouchers raised for the collection of the funds and said a cash payment of GH¢1,410,422 was also sent through the regional directors’ accounts to the regions.
The deputy EC Director said in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) primaries, the party paid GH¢232,270.00 with cheque which was cashed at the Ako Adjei Prudential Bank in the presence of the party’s Treasurer, Abankwa Yeboah, and the funds were sent directly into the accounts of the regional directors by Deputy Director, Dan Amenyo and Francis Sarfo of the Elections Department.
He said the PNC settled GH¢10,000 through the party’s then General Secretary, Bernard Monarh, at Wa in the Upper West Region.
“It must be noted that all payments did not pass through the office of the deputy chair (Ops), even though he was in touch with the Director of Elections to ensure the timely conduct of the elections. The allowances for Director of Elections, his deputy and the Deputy Chair (Ops) who coordinated at headquarters are with the accounts section of the commission and they are yet to be paid.
“It is therefore unfortunate for an allegation to be made that the deputy Chair (Ops) put an amount of GH¢6 million into his personal accounts and the activities without the involvement of the Finance Department,” Amadu Sulley debunked.
The Deputy Chairperson has in another vein accused Mrs Osei of sidelining him in the daily operations at the commission.
In a letter written to Mrs Osei and dated July 27, 2017, Mr Sulley accused her of dealing with the Director of Human Resource, Samuel Boadu, instead of him [Sulley] contrary to the administrative procedures of the commission.
The letter reads in part, “I have observed with concern of your non-recognition of my presence in the office since you resumed from leave. This is because you have been dealing with the Director, Human Resource (Mr Samuel Boadu) in the absence of the Deputy Chairperson, Corporate Services.”