Removal of EC Boss Politically Motivated ― Pressure Group

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Pressure group, Coalition for Social Justice (CSJ), has described the removal of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Madam Charlotte Osei as a politically driven decision.

According to them, the petty squabbles between Madam Osei and her deputies only served as a catalyst for the grand agenda of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which for a long time was being hatched.

At a press conference held in Accra, yesterday, convener for the group, Mr Sammy Gyamfi said the NPP’s unprovoked aversion for the EC boss was obvious from day one.

“we are all witnesses to the barrage of attacks and the campaign of hate which the NPP waged against the EC boss in this country. Right from the day of her appointment, Mrs Charlotte Osei has been a victim of jaundiced resentment from the NPP and its element,” he said.

It could be recalled how in 2016 maverick politician, Mr Kennedy Agyepong and other leading figures of the ruling party had hurled derogatory attacks on the EC boss with a threat to unseat her once the party won the elections.

Citing a strong case, of “misbehaviour and incompetence” by a committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, last Thursday, removed from office Mrs Osei, and her two deputies, Mr. Amadu Sulley and Ms. Georgina Opoku Amankwah.

The EC chair was investigated over six allegations of various procurement breaches, for which a prima facie case was established against her.

The CSJ expressing their utter disgust over this decision have further argued that it was not only politically driven but that the decision was legally bankrupt and absurdly harsh.

They maintained the petition which led to the investigation and dismissal of the EC boss was “undated, unsigned and fell short of the constitutional requirements of the petition as established by the Supreme Court.”

According to the CSJ convener, allegation of the breach of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) had not been handled properly.

He argues that the legal reparation for such breaches do not include a “removal from office”. The remedies proposed by the PPA for issues of breach according to Mr Gyamfi include; annulment of procurement proceedings, cancellation of contracts, rectification or penal sanctions.

“In view of these patent defects, the alleged petition was void at birth and had to be disallowed by the president,” Mr Gyamfi noted.

But former Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Emile Short, says the accusations that the President was pursuing a personal vendetta against former EC Boss are out-of-place.

He says the President followed due process after the recommendation of a Committee set up by the Chief Justice.

“I think it is important that we understand the legal process, the judicial process involved in impeachment process to avoid making statements which run counter to the constitutional provisions relating to impeachment process,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the CSJ has threatened legal actions if Madam Osei fails to seek legal redress within the next 14 days.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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