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General News of Saturday, 22 July 2017


EC boss must proceed on leave – Dr Richard Amoako Baah

A former Head of the Political Science Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has urged the Chairperson f the Electoral Commission to proceed on leave since the allegations against her are serious.

He said the allegations are injurious to Ghana’s Electioneering Body hence the need for her to stay aside as investigations go on.

According to him, many Ghanaians already have doubts about the political neutrality of the EC and allegations currently flying about further entrench such perceptions.

His call comes in the wake of a petition sent to the president by unnamed staff of the Electoral Commission demanding the impeachment of the EC boss, Madam Charlotte Osei for allegedly terminating a contract with STL and unilaterally renegotiating a contract with a vendor of the EC for $21,999,592 without the knowledge of her deputies or other commissioners.

Mrs Osei has since reacted to the allegations, describing them as “frivolous”, “bogus” and as “lies”.

However, Dr Amoako Baah said should investigations confirm any of the claims against the officials involved; the EC’s reputation will take an irreparable hit.

“It’s not good news because if allegations of corruption are emerging about the EC, then matters have worsened. A lot of Ghanaians do not trust the Electoral Commission and if these end up being true, then it becomes a confirmation. But what I will urge is that we wait a while so that EOCO and the rest conducting investigations finish with their work so we know the truth about it before we condemn anyone,” he urged on Accra News on Friday July 21 in an interview with Nana Ama Agyarko.

“But still, it is not pleasant to hear of corruption rearing its head at the EC, that some persons have embezzled some money, that the EC has become a one-woman show, and that there is cronyism within it. So let’s await conclusion of investigations.”

Fortunately, he said, Ghana has just come out of elections which means the EC is not immediately preoccupied with organising another election, “so it is the right time to do a thorough investigation”.

However, he said the storm at the EC may yet be a blessing to win back some of its critics should its chairperson be absolved of corruption.

“If it emerges that Madam Charlotte Osei is not guilty of any misconduct…some level of integrity will be restored in the Electoral Commission,” the former lecturer added, but noted that just as Mrs Osei asked three of her colleagues to proceed on leave while EOCO probes their alleged involvement in the GHS480,000 saga, she must equally proceed on leave while the allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance against her are investigated