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General News of Monday, 15 January 2018

Source: primenewsghana.com

Standoff at EC as Deputy Commissioner refuses to leave office

There is currently a standoff at the Electoral Commission following the refusal of the Deputy Commissioner, Georgina Opoku Amankwa to vacate her office on the directive of the Economic and Organised Crime Office, EOCO.

Georgina Opoku Amankwa was in July 2017 asked to proceed on leave by EOCO as it conducted investigations into the loss of about GH¢480,000 from the Endowment Fund at the Electoral Commission.

But the EC Deputy Chair returned to the office today[Monday], maintaining that she has been on leave for close to seven months and that amounts to removing her from the position, an act only the President has the power to execute.

Her stance is grounded on Article 44 (3) of the 1992 Constitution states that “The two Deputy Chairman of the Commission shall have the same terms and conditions of service as are applicable to a Justice of the High Court.”

Article 146 states in Clause 1 that "A Justice of the Superior Court or a Chairman of the Regional Tribunal shall not be removed from office except for stated misbehaviour or incompetence or on grounds of inability to perform the functions of his office arising from infirmity of body or mind."

Clause 2 also says "A Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature or a Chairman of the Regional Tribunal may only be removed in accordance with the procedure specified in this article."

Georgina Opoku Amankwaa is reported to have blatantly refused to vacate her office even when asked to by five armed men, who had been tasked by EOCO to remove her.

She has promised to return to the office on Tuesday to resume her duties and threatened to break down the door if it is locked.

She maintained she will only leave at the official closing hour of 5 pm.