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General News of Thursday, 25 January 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Sack Charlotte Osei – AFAG to Akufo-Addo

Pressure group, Alliance for Accountable governance, AFAG, is questioning why President Akufo Addo has not sacked EC boss Charlotte Osei and her two deputies after the Chief Justice established a prima facie case against them.

Mrs. Osei and her deputies are being probed by a five-member committee set up by the Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo in response to separate petitions filed against them.

Despite the probe, the EC boss is still at post, a situation which AFAG warns will make some of the petitioners unwilling to cooperate with the committee for fear of being victimized.

Vice chair of AFAG, Henry Asante addressing a news conference Thursday said, “Alliance for Accountable Governance is puzzled as to why President Akufo Addo has failed to ask the EC boss Mrs. Charlotte Osei to step aside from the Commission when the Chief Justice has established a prima facie case in the allegations against her.”

According to them, “It is on record that a number of grave allegations have been hovering over and around the office of Madam Charlotte Osei to the extent that workers of the Electoral Commission braved the fear of victimization they are likely to suffer at work to petition the office of the President for her removal from office.”

It is therefore urging the president “to take the honorable Executive step by asking Madam Charlotte Oseiand her deputy commissioners to step-aside for fair and equitable investigations to be carried out.

“We need to remind you that The EC is such an important institution in maintaining peace and stability in this country and it is only appropriate that we the citizens do not have clouds in our minds about the nonalignment and impartiality of our Electoral Commission.”

Below is the full statement

PRESIDENT WE ARE DISAPPOINTED: EC COMMISSIONERS MUST STEP ASIDE

Alliance For Accountable Governance is puzzled as to why President AkufoAddo has failed to ask the EC boss Mrs. Charlotte Osei to step aside from the Commission when the Chief Justice has established a prima facie case in the allegations against her.

It is on record that a number of grave allegations have been hovering over and around the office of Madam Charlotte Osei to the extent that workers of the Electoral Commission braved the fear of victimization they are likely to suffer at work to petition the office of the President for her removal from office.

Furthermore, the aggrieved staff of the Electoral Commission called for the removal of Commissioner while leveling numerous allegations against her including the decision to side-step due procurement procedure and single handedly awarding contracts, compromising the independence and neutrality of the commission, engaging in cronyism, and approving contracts that are valued and above the approved threshold by the Public Procurement Authority and the misappropriation of the EC’s Endowment fund of employees.

As a precedent, in January of 2015, Madam LaurettaLamptey, the Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) was suspended by President John Mahama following the establishment of a prima facie case against her by the Chief Justice, Madam Georgina Wood for professional misconduct. This is as a result of a GHc180, 000.00 she spent to renovate her official residence. Similarly, nearly seven months ago, in another direct instance, Mrs. Charlotte Osei suspended Mrs. Georgina Amankwa when an allegation case was made against her for siphoningGHc480, 177.87!the case Dr Richard Anane is another example. AFAG had long expected the President to act and spare the Electoral Commission from further damage in credibility.

AFAG, no doubt, sees these allegations as more serious in nature than that of Madam LaurettaLampteywhen then President Mahama decisively asked her to proceed on leave, yet Madam Charlotte Osei is still at post exercising the full powers of her office and jeopardizing any evidence, which might be used against her. We strongly hold the position that the outcome of whatever investigation that would be conducted could be compromised if she continues to remain in office.

OUR RESOLUTION

1. The presence of Mrs. Charlotte Osei intimidates witnesses who are still workers of the Commission

2. Her continued stay undermines the credibility of the Electoral Commission

3. Her presence undermines the principle of fair trial.

4. With her still at post, she stampede the availability of witnesses

5. Finally Mrs. Charlotte Osei having leveled allegations of malfeasance against her two deputies, AFAG further recommends all three commissioners should be asked to step aside till cleared.

Mr. President, AFAG urges you to take the honorable Executive step by asking Madam Charlotte Oseiand her deputy commissioners to step-aside for fair and equitable investigations to be carried out. We need to remind you that The EC is such an important institution in maintaining peace and stability in this country and it is only appropriate that we the citizens do not have clouds in our minds about the nonalignment and impartiality of our Electoral Commission.