General News of Sunday, 6 August 2017
Ghana Centre for Democratic Development(CDD-Ghana) wants government to adopt a more comprehensive approach in dealing with the crisis at the Electoral Commission (EC).
The call comes despite the President’s referral of the petitions for the removal of the EC Chairperson and her deputies to the Chief Justice.
Senior Research Fellow at the CDD, Dr Kojo Asante told Citi News, government must expand the ongoing process to deal with allegations of financial malfeasance at the Commission.
“Currently we have two tracks, one is a petition so the petition under Article 146 (3) which has been forwarded to the Chief Justice and the Chief Justice has to establish whether there is a prima facie case for proceeding to a panel but if you read from Article 146 there are really two actions that will happen. Either they commence a suspension or a removal.
“If you remember the CHRAJ case that led to a suspension and subsequently a removal. We think that that track is appropriate and should be followed but we also think other cases of criminality should be pursued. Other state institutions have to be involved. We know EOCO started one regarding the provident fund but it does not include the more recent allegations of criminality that has been made into the investigation so we feel that once that has come into the public domain, that process could easily be expanded to also deal with the other criminality issues that have been raised,” Dr. Asante said.
The EC’s tensions came to the fore after some employees of the Commission petitioned PresidentAkufo-Addo to dismiss Charlotte Osei for alleged financial malfeasance.
Among the allegations, the aggrieved employees claimed that Mrs. Osei awarded a GHc 3.9 million contract for work on an office complex without consulting the Commission.
Mrs. Osei rubbished the allegations in a comprehensive 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 lawyer for the employees for making what she described as unsubstantiated allegations against her.
In the suit, Lawyer for Charlotte Osei, Thadeus Sory argued that the “the false and malicious publications by Defendant has injured the image of Plantiff and brought her hard won reputation into hatred, ridicule, odium, discredit, contempt, opprobrium and reproach.