General News of Saturday, 2 December 2017
It has become obvious that, plans are far advanced to remove the Electoral Commission (EC) boss, Charlotte Osei, from office by President Nana Akufo-Addo, using his paternal cousin, Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, by constitutional means.
The Chief Justice, who has a habit of pandering to the whims and caprices of New Patriotic Party (NPP), has empanelled a committee to look into the alleged abuse of power and corruption claims made against the EC boss.
Most of the allegations captured in petitions sent to President Akufo-Addo, and subsequently handed over to the Chief Justice, had been described as frivolous; and mostly hearsay from third parties.
A report by the pro-NPP Daily Guide Newspaper, which has been part of the enterprise to remove the EC boss, claims that, there appears to be sufficient grounds for the impeachment of the EC officers involved, who are at loggerheads, thereby jeopardizing the operation of the commission.
The newspaper owned by acting NPP Chairman, Freddie Blay, reports that the five-member committee is expected to investigate the EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, together with her two deputies – Georgina Opoku-Amankwah, who is in charge of Corporate Services and Amadu Sulley, in charge of Operations – as prescribed under Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution.
It said, the committee, to be presided over by a Supreme Court Judge, has two other Court of Appeal judges (male and female), as well as two other members nominated by the Council of State (female and male) as its membership.
The decision to form the committee, comes after two separate petitions demanding the removal of the EC Boss, were sent to the president.
Reports indicated that at least 15 allegations have been leveled against Mrs. Osei in the second petition. Some of the allegations involved the unilateral award of contracts by the EC boss in the run-up to the 2016 general election.
The earlier petition from unnamed EC staff, who are being represented by Lawyer Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, accused Mrs. Osei of funneling of GH¢3.9 million to partition an office, the receipt of a Toyota Land Cruiser from the Mahama government, the expenditure of about $14 million, when the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), had authorised her to use only $7.5 million among others.
Mrs. Osei, in a response also accused her deputy Chairpersons of arrogance and illegally signing contracts worth over GHc 40 million without her approval.
“It is worth pointing out, that while the Chairperson is persistently accused of arrogance and taking unilateral decisions, there is ample evidence of extreme arrogance, ineptitude and blatant breaches of the law by the deputy Chairpersons”.
“The Deputy Chairperson F/A has signed contracts worth over GH¢ 40m without knowledge and authorization of the Chairperson between July-September 2015,” she said through Lawyer Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang.
The NPP, had been uncomfortable since the appointment of Charlotte Osei, as Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Djan’s successor. They accused her of many things, including trading sex with the then President John Dramani Mahama for the position.
Ahead of her appointment to the EC, she was the chairperson of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
The NCCE, is a government of Ghana agency, responsible for the education of Ghanaians on civic matters. It was established by Act 452 of the Parliament of Ghana in 1993.