General News of Thursday, 21 December 2017
The Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo, has cautioned the public not to interfere or make any comments that will undermine the work of the five-member committee set up to investigate the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies, Mr Amadu Sulley and Mrs Georgina Opoku-Amankwa
She warned that any infractions that would negatively affect the work of the committee “as it delves into corruption allegations and abuse of power against the three principal officers of the EC may amount to contempt.”
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Judicial Secretary, Mr Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong.
“It is the expectation of the Chief Justice and the Judicial Council that the public will treat the committee with the respect and dignity it deserves as it carries out its constitutional duty and refrain from making any comments that will undermine the work of the Committee, since infractions may amount to contempt,” the statement said.
The five-member committee, the statement explained, would sit in camera in line with normal practice.”
According to the statement, the committee 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.
It is being chaired by a justice of the Supreme Court.
On July 13, 2017, Mr Opoku-Agyeman, representing some members of staff of the EC, sent a petition to President Akufo-Addo asking for the initiation of the process for the removal of Mrs Osei under Article 146.
The 27-point petition, which was also served on the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), alleged acts of fraud, corruption, cronyism, among other forms of malfeasance, against the EC Chairperson.
Mrs Osei, however, responded to each of the allegations in a statement released by her legal team and went on to level damning allegations against her two deputies in charge of operations and corporate affairs.
She followed it up with a lawsuit against Mr Opoku-Agyemang for defamation at the Accra High Court.
On July 25, 2017, an individual, identified as Emmanuel Korsi Senyo, also sent two petitions to the Presidency, seeking for the removal of Mr Sulley and Mrs Amankwa.
President Akufo-Addo on July 26 and 28, 2017 referred the petitions against Mrs Osei and her two deputies, respectively, to the Chief Justice, per Article 146 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.