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General News of Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Chief Justice Committee had no powers to try EC officials – Amaliba

A Private Legal Practitioner, Abraham Amaliba has said that the Chief Justice’s Committee, which investigated the petitions against the three Commissioners of the Election Management Body (EMB) acted beyond their bounds as prescribed by the constitution.

He argues that there is no basis for the CJ committee under the law to pronounce judgment nor declare the offense of persons being investigated, insisting the determination of a criminal offence could only be proven before a court of law.

Speaking on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 FM, Amaliba thus held the view that the conclusions that cited the top officials guilty of misbehaviour and incompetence is wrong so as their outright removal from office.

“Their findings and conclusion is questionable. For the committee to have come to that conclusion that they[EC officials] have beached the Procurement Act, they were engaged in an act of trying to try the case when they were not in court. There ought to be interpretation, a conclusive one for that matter for us to come to a determination on what is stated misbehaviour. It is only the Supreme court that has the power to interpret the constitution. So I believe this legal challenge will help us to make a pronouncement on this subject.” he told host Kwaku Owusu Adjei Wednesday on Kasapa.

His comments follows the suit filed by a Ghanaian citizen, Fafali Nyonator against the Attorney General over the removal of the Electoral Commission chairperson, Charlotte Osei from office.

In a suit filed on [Tuesday], she prayed the court to declare that the committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, to investigate separate complaints brought against the three commissioners at the Electoral Commission, exceeded their powers by recommending the removal of the commissioners, and that the recommendations in the report be declared null and void.

Among other reliefs being sought is “an order of perpetual injunction restraining His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana from appointing any persons to the person of Chairperson of the Electoral Commission until that position has become lawfully vacant in accordance with proper processes and procedures as by law established.”

President Akufo-Addo last Thursday removed the Chairperson of the EC, Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amakwah from office, based on the recommendations of a Committee constituted by the Chief Justice to look into petitions from some Ghanaian citizens brought against the officials.