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Opinions of Thursday, 11 June 2020

Columnist: Shmuel Ja'Mba Abm

Ghanaians expect fair and just ruling on new register case at Supreme Court

Procrastination, they say, is the thief of time. And so soon, the cry from candidate Akufo-Addo, begging the electorate to try him [which basically formed the grounds of appeal in his canvass for votes in Elections 2016], has caught up with him and exposed the grand scheme masterminded in the planned exit of the legitimately appointed Chairperson of the EC, Charlotte Osei, who has sworn into office accordingly after the tenure of the long-serving Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan.

Sadly, unlike Jean Mensa, the appointment of Charlotte Osei couldn't have been preprogrammed by the government of President John Dramani Mahama for political gains, unfolding from the visible writings on the wall spoken through political actors and stakeholders such as the opposition parties, CSOs and Chiefs and traditional authorities across Ghana; before the rest of the world. Her appointment was legitimate and timely on the grounds of the expired tenure of Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, who had attained the retirement age.

The government of President Akufo-Addo having engaged in the frolicking of its own spent in office with intransigent borrowing for consumption and in off-track political predatory vengeance used to collapse banks of perceived competitors; instead of fulfilling the exact social contract reached with the electorate in his 2016 campaign promises, is now turning to a prepared scheme of usurping provisions of universal adult suffrage targeted at stateless Ghanaians.

Typical of such fascist-inclined and populist regimes as demonstrated in government style and serialised pronouncements, the government of President Akufo-Addo is caught in its own trap and has failed to fulfill its part of the bargain in the social contract wrought through deceit. Discerning Ghanaians are mindful of a plot to rig Election 2020. Like joke, what started seemingly as an honest and responsible duty of government to clean the stables of the EC has turned out to be a hoax.

The facts are as seen in the public domain. According to published data from ASEPA, a massive collision is in the process to disenfranchise as many as possible voters, especially through voter suppression in all but just two regions - Ashanti and the Eastern Regions. Initially, the government dismissed speculations that the NIA was engaged in an exercise to collude with the EC to compile a new biometric voters' register; when it first set out. But this is certain today, as CI 125 is underway to mature into the source document to invalidate possession of the current voter ID card.

Which government, that believes has the merit of office to continue a renewed mandate, would engage in such glaring rigging gambit? For starters, take for instance what the NPP hopes to use the Ministry of Information to do. He reportedly accused the NDC Member of Parliament of Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, Cassiel Ato Forson, for not being present at the Budget Performance Report of the Ministry of Finance on both Thursday and Friday and that appeared to be false.

Birds of the same feather, they say, flock together. For instance, he was appointed by President Akufo-Addo. And if his performance is unacceptable to President Akufo-Addo, Mr. President has what it takes to reprimand him or sack him. Just as how he went about what Alfred Obeng was doing at BOST - engaged in an alleged fraudulent deal to cause financial loss to the state through deliberate labeling of fuel as contaminated; his open endorsement of using crude methods to represent and run the state is an open secret.

In this particular instance, he [Alfred Obeng] didn't allegedly only underprice a GHS15 million value fuel at GHS5 million; but he sought to benefit, allegedly, from it through a hurriedly cobbled together oil company [Movenpiina, formed at Hotel Movenpick] registered days after the deal was cooked. In a press conference addressed by Majority Leader of Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, Alfred Obeng was given a clean bill of health to continue to hold the position of the CEO of BOST.

Sadly, Mr President himself became the clearing agent to read a BNI report, which exonerated Alfred Obeng. But he [Mr President] was unable to get the claims off his cousin, Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Finance in the US$2.25 billion bond transaction to Enterprise Group, which ownership he reportedly failed to include in his assets declaration, a mandatory requirement for an appointment for such a high portfolio. Sadly, in a majority rule of five against two, the Supreme Court threw away a case of conflict of interest filed by a good citizen.

President Akufo-Addo campaigned on a promise to fight corruption and swore to protect the public purse. At a point, he made a public statement to the effect, that those who wanted to make money in government should consider going into the informal sector of private business. He promised to make corruption unattractive to the few who infiltrated into his government.

As the EC submits legal reasons for not including the current voter ID card as a breeder document to the list of those outlined in CI 125 to the Supreme Court today, Ghanaians expect nothing less than a fair and just ruling on June 11, 2020. Government is derived by, for and of the people.

By Shmuel Ja'Mba Abm, a concerned citizen of Ghana and an eligible voter

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