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General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017


EC row: Investigate allegations now - GII tells government

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), is urging government to be quick in ensuring that appropriate and thorough investigations are conducted into the intensifying internal ruckus at the Electoral Commission (EC).

According to the GII, the current brouhaha in the EC is destroying the integrity, which is “the most crucial quality required of the Commission in exercising its mandate”, thus the need for drastic measures in addressing the issue in order to calm nerves as early as possible.

There is an infighting in the Electoral Commission after some unnamed staff of the commission petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to initiate impeachment proceedings against the Chairperson, Charlotte Osei.

The petitioners have levelled serious allegations against Madam Charlotte Osei including abuse of office and breaches of contracts and the public procurement process.

However, the EC Boss has denied the allegations describing them as "bogus", "frivolous", "lies" and "baseless".

She has also waged war on her two deputies; commissioner in charge of Operations, Amadu Sulley and Commissioner in charge of Corporate Services, Georgina Opoku Amankwah.

As the tension gets more unpleasant with the contest of allegations between the three parties, individuals, groups, others are worried over the level of “indiscipline” brewing at outfit of the commission which is responsible for conducting free and fair elections in the country.

Among these groups is the GII.

In a statement signed by the Executive Director of the GII, the local chapter of Transparency International, Linda Ofori-Kwafo, the counter allegation between the EC chairperson and her deputies is unhealthy for the integrity of the commission and the only way to end the tension is to fast-track the probe into the allegations.

“It appears the current impasse affects the very core of this non-negotiable quality and GII wishes to call on the government through the relevant state agencies, to take swift action to ensure that appropriate and thorough investigations are conducted into these matters,” the GII suggests.

The GII wants thorough investigations into the following:

i. The Involvement of the two Deputy Chairpersons of the Commission in procurement irregularities in May 2015 involving $22.3 and $16.4m for the purchase of BVDs

ii. The Deputy Chairperson signing contracts worth over GHS40m without requisite approval and authorization.

iii. The Deputy Chairperson collection of GHC6m (Six million Ghana cedis) from political parties for the conduct of party primaries without recourse to the structures of the Electoral Commission

iv. The illegal vote transfer on the Voter management System by the Deputy Chairperson in charge of Operations

Commending the Economic and Organized Crime Organization (EOCO) for initiating a probe into the allegations, the GII also wants government to “update Ghanaians on the status of the petition received from the “concerned staff” of the Commission on the Chairperson, Mrs. Charlotte Osei”.