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General News of Thursday, 18 January 2018


'Deputy EC boss erred going back to work' – Lawyer Nnuro

Deputy Electoral Commissioner, Ms. Georgina Opoku Amankwaah play videoDeputy Electoral Commissioner, Ms. Georgina Opoku Amankwaah

A private legal practitioner, Mr. Asante Nnuro, says he is finding it very difficult to believe why the deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana in charge of Corporate Services, Ms. Georgina Opoku Amankwaah, could resume work without following due process of the law.

In his view, once the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has not concluded its investigations into the issue of which Ms. Opoku Amankwaah and two others are allegedly accused of and provoking their interdiction, it was wrong for her to have resumed work when the matter has not been brought to its finality.

“I beg to differ. Madam Georgina Opoku Amankwaah erred going back to her office to resume her official duties. She couldn’t have taken it upon herself to resume to work. If you are accused of something or interdicted, you can only go back or resume work when investigations are concluded and you are exonerated from any wrongdoing”, he noted in an interview with Akwasi Nsiah on Si Me So on Kasapa 102.5 FM, Monday.

The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, Monday, became the center of attraction as some Police personnel with AK 47 assault rifles led by the Acting Executive Director of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), ACP K. K. Amoah (Rtd), stormed the offices of the Commission to battle the deputy EC boss, Georgina Opoku Amankwaah.

Madam Opoku Amankwaah had stormed her office to resume work as earlier communicated to the EOCO through her lawyers.

She had been on forced leave since July 2017 at the instance of the investigative agency.

Her resumption in office was against an advice from the investigative body urging her follow due process since their investigations into the Staff Endowment Fund of the election management body has not been concluded.

Madam Georgina Opoku Amankwaah strongly believes that she has not been treated fairly at all by the EOCO ever since the issue of alleged embezzlement of the Commission’s Staff Endowment Fund broke out.

In July 2017, the EOCO in letter addressed to the Chairperson of the EC, Charlotte Osei, demanded that the Madam Georgina Opoku Amankwaah, the Chief Accountant, Mr. Kwaku Owusu Agyei-Larbi and the Director of Finance, Dr. Joseph Kwaku Asamoah, be made to proceed on leave to pave way for investigations into the loss of about GH?480,000 from the Staff Endowment Fund at the Commission.

The directive by the investigative body was complied with, forcing the deputy EC Chair and the two others to proceed on leave.

But seven months down the line, the investigation by the EOCO has not been completed, provoking lawyers for Madam Georgina Opoku Amankwaah, to write to the EOCO informing them that they have advised their client to resume work immediately.

This was in spite of the forced leave slapped on the deputy EC boss by the security agency.

The lawyers led by K. A. Asante Krobea, insisted that with the setting up of the Chief Justice’s Committee following the petition to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the ECOCO has no basis to insist that the deputy EC Chairperson should still stay at home.

However, Lawyer Nnuro believes that the move by the deputy EC Chairperson was wrong and should be condemned.

“If we allow this to happen, a lot of people whose cases are being investigated and has taken a long time could join the fray and there will be chaos in the system”, he stressed.

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