Impeachment of EC Chair, Deputies to be done ‘in-camera’

General News of Tuesday, 19 December 2017



Charlotte Osei

A Supreme Court judge has been appointed to preside over the committee to investigate the chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei and her two deputies.

Mrs. Osei and her deputies – Sulley Amadu and Mrs Georgina Opoku-Amankwa – have been accused of corruption and breaches of the law, which if found culpable, will lead to their impeachment.

Some anonymous staff of the Commission in July 2017 petitioned President Akufo-Addo to remove the chairperson over alleged abuse of office, causing financial loss to the State and breaches of Ghana’s procurement laws.

Mrs. Osei has since denied the claims, which she described as unfounded and accused her deputies who are also facing impeachment over corruption, as masterminds of the petition.

As per the constitution, President Akufo-Addo notwithstanding forwarded the petition to the Chief Justice to weigh the allegations to establish if there is a prima facie case to trigger impeachment against the three.

A statement issued by the Judicial Secretary Tuesday said, “there was a prima facie case against the three officials of the Electoral Commission”

Consequent to that, the statement said the Chief Justice has set up the five-member Committee to commence impeachment hearing against the three commissioners.

It however failed to name members of the Committee, which it said, would be presided over by a Supreme Court judge.

‘In-camera’ hearing

Hearing of the case will be conducted in-camera, the statement said, but did not say when the impeachment hearing will commence.

“The Committee, which will sit in camera, in line with normal practices, consists of three justices of the Superior Court appointed by the Judicial Council and two other persons appointed by the Chief Justice on the advice of the Council of State,” the statement said.

It added: “The Committee is chaired by a Justice of the Supreme Court”.

The statement urged the public to treat the Committee with “the respect and dignity it deserves” as it goes about its constitutional duty.

It also advised all to “refrain from making comments that will undermine the work of the Committee” warning such infractions may constitute contempt.

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