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Opinions of Monday, 29 January 2018

Columnist: K. Badu

AFAG has indeed hit the nail on the head: Let them leave

The Alliance For Accountable Governance (AFAG) recent supplication to President Akufo-Addo to ask the three beleaguered Electoral Commissioners to vacate their posts while the impeachment process is going on is apt and must be commended by all well-meaning Ghanaians.

Of course, there is a precedent. A few years ago, the then chairperson of the CHRAJ, Mrs Lauretta Vivian Lamptey, was asked to proceed on leave while a petition brought against her was being dealt with by the impeachment panel.

So, it will not be something out of the ordinary if the three indicted Electoral Commissioners are asked to proceed on leave to allow the impeachment panel deal with the petition brought against them.

Well, no true patriot, so to speak, would ever support lawlessness. It is for that reason why some of us ventilated our arousing disgust and censured the loose talkers who disgustingly proclaimed doom on the nation should the Chair Person of the EC be removed from her post following the impeachment process.

The apparent hypocrisy and the unpatriotic sentiments that have been expressed by some members of the opposition NDC Party in relation to the ongoing impeachment process of the three Electoral Commissioners must be reprobated in no uncertain terms.

The revoltingly ugly remarks, as a matter of fact, bring nothing but sad memories to some of us. Verily, some of us were old and fortunate enough to have witnessed the lawlessness which took place during the P/NDC administrations over a period of three decades (1970-1990s) and hence cannot accept any ridiculous pronouncements from members of such tradition.

It would be recalled that somewhere in 2014, Ex-President Mahama duly forwarded Mr Richard Nyamah and his partners' previous petition issued against the then chairperson of the CHRAJ, Mrs Lauretta Vivian Lamptey to the Chief Justice to ascertain an unobjectionable constitutional violation.

The Chief Justice subsequently established a prima facie constitutional violation, and, Mrs Lamptey was impeached accordingly.

The all-important question then is: why didn’t the same NDC worrywarts object to Mrs Lamptey’s impeachment process back then?

The 1992 Constitution of Ghana, to be precise, Article 146 provides interesting steps or measures that need to be taken in order to impeach a Justice of the Superior Court or a Chairman of the Regional Tribunal.

“(3) If the President receives a petition for the removal of Justice of a Superior Court other than the Chief Justice or for the removal of the Chairman of a Regional Tribunal, he shall refer the petition to the Chief Justice, who shall determine whether there is a prima facie case.

Patently, President Akufo-Addo was required by law to refer the petition brought against Charlotte Osei to the Chief Justice to determine whether there was a prima facie case.

In that regard, President Akufo-Addo could not have erred by referring the petition brought against Mrs Charlotte Osei to the Chief Justice for determination of a prima facie case.

The crucial question however is: if for argument sake, President Akufo-Addo had knowingly withheld the petition issued against Charlotte Osei, wouldn’t he then had violated the Constitution of Ghana?

Clearly, there is an evidence of due process, thus some of us cannot fathom how and why any group of people can carelessly threaten the peace of the country because of their parochial interests.

I could not agree more with AFAG. Let the indicted Electoral Commissioners proceed on leave. After all, Madam Vivian Lamptey was asked to vacate her post. Indeed, ‘what is good for the goose is good for the gander’.

And, to the unpatriotic loose talkers: even though you have inalienable rights as human beings to seek, receive and convey information and ideas of all kinds, such rights are subject to permitted abridgement, so stop misusing such inherent rights.

Ghana cannot and won’t burn! Long live Ghana!