General News of Thursday, 22 March 2018
It has emerged that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) while in power in 2016 doled out US$12 million to the Charlotte Osei-led Electoral Commission (EC) as a ‘thank you’ money.
An audio purportedly confirming the allegation also said, Kufuor’s government did same, before the 2004 elections, although our sources failed to mention the exact amount the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) at that time gave to the EC Commissioners.
“But I hear before the elections, normally whichever government is in power, not necessarily before elections, it can even be before elections, they come and say thank you, Kufuor did it, small, normally it is not much.
“So this one, you know NDC people they are more generous when it comes to that, as for NPP people they are mean when it comes to that”, one of the female Commissioners of the EC was reported to have said this in a leaked audio.
According to the said leaked audio, the money was given to the EC’s boss to be shared among the seven Commissioners, and the staff of the EC.
When (name withheld), according to sources also sensed that the NDC was likely to lose, he took half of the money and went and gave half, $6 to the EC.
What Today cannot tell is whether the money was to influence the outcome of the 2016 general elections?
There has been disagreement and wrangling among the seven commissioners of the EC , which has culminated in the ongoing removal proceedings against Mrs Charlotte Osei as Chairperson by a five-member committee set up by Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo.
The female commissioner [name withheld] whose voice was heard in the leaked audio, the sources said, told a journalist in a conversation why Mrs Charlotte Osei, should not continue to be in charge of affairs at the commission and that she should be removed.
The leaked audio, according to our sources also suggested that, the commissioners have been divided, with four – Amadu Sulley, Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, Ebenezer Aggrey Fynn and Paulina Adobea Dadzawa, on one side against Mrs Charlotte Osei who enjoys support from two other commission members, Rebecca Kabukie Adjalo and Hajia Sa-Adatu Maida.
The 16:32 minutes conversation between the journalist and the commissioner, Today gathered was basically on the criticisms of Mrs Osei’s leadership, and allegations of procurement infractions and political party influences at the Commission.
“As you know it’s been bad, we don’t want to muddy the waters because of elections, because it has its national and international interests and it should surpass everybody’s personal interest”, the aggrieved Commissioner said.
According to her, when Mrs Charlotte took over the EC they (7commissioners) all hailed her appointment because “she is a woman”.
On the declaration of the 2016 elections results, Today further gathered that , the said female Commissioner was in her house when somebody called her, and said, “ Madam come, some ‘huhu huhu’ is going on and we don’t know what is going on, and if we are not careful, this country will go into flames. Because the NDC people know they have lost and are trying very hard to have a runoff, and I said who is trying hard and he said, Madam come I don’t want to talk on the phone”.
According to her, “I didn’t even bath, I wore my dress…then the person came, Madam sit here, I beg don’t move, you are the only person who can deal with these people, those people are directors so they work for us because we employ them, they owe allegiance to us”.
“ I sat there, and said, even if I want to go to the washroom, I won’t go till the declaration. I was there on the first day, the second day then I heard, Mac Manu was there and many other people.
“So when she (Mrs Charlotte Osei) saw that the place had been besieged, she started feeling jittery, eh! We are not going to declare it now, we have to make sure every ballot is counted”.
She further alleged in the audio that Mrs. Osei started talking to the then sitting President, John Dramani Mahama.
“John is my friend, John is more my friend than Akufo-Addo and I would have been more happier because of that, although I don’t particularly like NDC but because of John, if they had won, I wouldn’t mind at all and she knows John is also my friend”, the female Commissioner was reported to have said in the leaked audio.
She went on to allege that, her boss (Mrs. Charlotte Osei) said, they should count everything but, “I said we don’t have to, when we get to a stage where whatever is left plus whatever the second person has got won’t make any difference we will declare”.
“Eh!, she (Charlotte Osei) said, there is no law that is telling us to declare, and I said, there is a natural law”, she added.
“I sat by the machine and I got the results and what we had, it was about six or 16 left and I said nothing was gonna change, NPP had won, I told her and she said how did you know, and I said I know, It is not with any interest that I am saying it, I am saying it because that is what it is. The same way me and Afari Gyan did a calculation in 2012 and declared NDC, this time it is NPP, then she went to the bathroom. I just looked at her”, she said.