General News of Saturday, 16 December 2017
While the president is legally right in forwarding a petition seeking to impeach the Electoral Commissioner to the Chief Justice, he could have, for political expediency, avoided the whole process.
That is the suggestion by the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga.
Having served as MP and in government under the late John Mills and ex-president John Mahama, Ayariga said if president Akufo-Addo was minded, he could easily have talked the petitioners out of triggering the whole impeachment process.
He said it is only a façade for the impression to be created that the president didn’t have choice other than to forward the petition to the Chief Justice.
According to him, the late Mills on numerous occasions avoided many impeachment processes to be triggered against the former Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood and present president could have done same if he wanted.
He was emphatic however, that Akufo-Addo did no wrong in law by forwarding the 27-point allegation clothed in a petition against the chair of the Commission.
He was speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile, Saturday on the controversial impeachment process triggered against the EC Chair and her two Deputy Commissioners.
The Chief Justice has established a prima facie case against the EC Chair after president Akufo-Addo forwarded the petition to her as stipulated under Article 146 of the constitution.
There have been suggestions especially from some members of the opposition that the whole petition is a plot by members of government to get Charlotte Osei out of office.
On Newsfile, Mahama Ayariga chronicled the entire process of impeaching a Chair of Commission and admitted nothing untoward has been in law but he was quick to add that politically the president may have some interest.
“Where is the instigation coming from? Is it a grand scheme or a petty matter?” he asked.
“The façade of not having a discretion, people like us are not deceived…The president has ways of making sure no petition is generated at all.
“Presidents have ways of getting things done. If the president wants to handle it in another way, he could,” he added.
In a rebuttal however, Kweku Baako Jnr said it will be completely unconstitutional and illegal to ask the president not to forward a possible impeachment petition to the Chief Justice.
He said if the late president John Mills did that, he must have acted unconstitutionally.
He wondered why some members of the NDC are asking the current president to continue in what obviously is a constitutional lawlessness.