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General News of Friday, 29 June 2018

Source: classfmonline.com

Removal of EC Boss and her deputies self-inflicted – Gabby Otchere-Darko

The removal of Mrs Charlotte Osei from office as Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC) together with her two deputies, Georgina Opoku Amankwah and Amadu Sulley has nothing to do with the government, political parties or civil society groups, a member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has said.

According to him, their removal was self-inflicted.

In a Facebook post, the founder of policy think tank Danquah Institute said; “Let it be stressed that the events that led to the removal of the EC chairperson and her two deputies had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the government, political parties or even civil society groups.

“It started (we must all recall because it was all in the media) with infighting at the very top of the Commission shortly after the Dec 2016 elections. All gloves were off. The EC Chairperson and her two deputies began throwing mud at each other - publicly! They accused each other of corruption and abuse of power. They were soon joined by staff members of the EC.

“It is what they said about each other, the evidence they provided against each other, and the decision by their respective supporters to compile all the pieces of evidence into separate petitions which their own loyalists filed that triggered the constitutional process which eventually led to their removal, after full hearings. The President had a simple perfunctory but important role to play and that role was strictly provided by the Constitution.

“First, he had no choice but to pass on the petitions to the Chief Justice once received. Secondly, he had no option, per the Constitution, but to act according to the recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry once received. This is the truth and the whole truth according to the facts and the law.”

President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday, 28 June fired Mrs Osei and her two deputies.

A committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, to investigate separate complaints brought against the three persons by Ghanaian citizens, recommended their removal.

In 2017, a five-member committee was set up by Chief Justice to investigate alleged act of corruption involving Mrs Osei and her two Deputies.

Some staff of the EC petitioned Nana Akufo-Addo to remove Mrs Osei from office over allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance as well as abuse of office.

Mrs Osei also counter-alleged corruption against his deputies insisting that she has done nothing wrong and only being hounded out because she is fighting internal graft.

The president, in accordance with the constitution, forwarded the petition to the Chief Justice to look into the matter.