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General News of Tuesday, 12 December 2017


All accused EC commissioners deserve fair hearing - Kwesi Pratt

Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley (in charge of Operations) and Georgina Amankwa (in charge of Corporate Services) are expected to be probed by a Committee over corruption allegations leveled against them.

The EC Chairperson on Monday, December 11, appeared before the Chief Justice at the Supreme Court after President Nana Akufo-Addo forwarded a petition for her impeachment in relation to alleged corruption and abuse of power.

She is reportedly to answer for six allegations out of the 27 accusations while her deputies will answer for their alleged roles in the disappearance of some GHS480,000 from the EC’s Endowment Fund among other allegations.

Addressing the issue, seasoned journalist Kwesi Pratt called for a fair hearing by the Chief Justice and the Committee to all parties involved in the case.

According to him, it appears since the issue broke out; the news has always been about Mrs. Charlotte Osei without any regard for her deputies who are also jointly accused of corruption.

To Mr. Pratt, there shouldn't be any attempts to play down on the deputies and so on Peace FM's Kokrokoo vehemently called for each party to be treated equally without favour or fear.

“Amadu Sulley also has rights. He also deserves fairness. Madam Georgina also has rights. She also deserves fairness. Those who penned the petition also have right and they also deserve fairness. So, we should be calling for fairness for everybody in the process. In fact, the Chief Justice herself has rights and we have to be fair to the Chief Justice. His Excellency the President also has rights and we have to be fair to the President also”, he stressed.

Meanwhile, the EC Chairperson has written to President Akufo-Addo to serve her with a copy of the petition requesting her impeachment.

Her reason for the request is that though she has complied with directives by the Committee, she is however yet to receive a copy of the specific allegations made against her by the petitioners.

But the Presidency has referred her to the Chief Justice saying the President's responsibility was to receive the petition and forward it to the Chief Justice.

Presidency Has Copy

Speaking in an interview with host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Kokrokoo, the Director of Communications at the Presidency Eugene Arhin confirmed that the EC Boss on Monday evening sought for a copy of the petition from the Presidency.

“If a petition like that is brought to the attention of President for the removal of maybe a person like the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, all the President has to do is to forward the petition to the Chief Justice. It is not incumbent on the President to serve the respondents or whoever the petition concerns with copies. That is not the constitutionally mandated duty. What it says in Article 146(3) that when something like that comes before the President, all he has to do refer the member to the Chief Justice.

“So, if she wants copy of the petition, all she has to do to go speak to the Committee or go speak to the Chief Justice and take a copy and not demand a copy of the petition from the President…That’s what I said. That’s what has been communicated to her by letter”, he said.

Eugene Arhin further dismissed claims that the Presidency doesn't have copy of the petition stating emphatically “if someone says we don’t have copy, I mean what kind of system are running then at the Flagstaff House…Every single thing that comes here, we have a copy”.