The Alliance For Accountable Governance (AFAG) says it is surprised by the continuous stay in office of Electoral Commission Chair, Charlotte Osei, despite the many allegations against her.
The pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) pressure group said it is disappointed president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has not suspended the EC boss, who is being investigated by a Chief Justice committee.
AFAG in a statement said the presence of Mrs Osei at the Commission could lead to the victimization of the staff who petitioned the President for her removal.
Some EC workers in a six-page petition submitted to the President in July, 2017 levelled some allegations against their boss.
The petition was forwarded to Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo as enjoined by the Constitution and a five-member committee has been set up to probe the matter after a prima facie case was established.
Her two deputies; Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaah are also facing the CJ’s committee after petitions were presented against them too.
Read the full statement signed by AFAG’s General Secretary, Arnold Boateng, below:
MR. PRESIDENT, WE ARE DISAPPOINTED: EC COMMISSIONER MUST STEP ASIDE
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.
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 Lauretta Lamptey, 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 Lauretta Lamptey when 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.
- The presence of Mrs. Charlotte Osei intimidates witnesses who are still workers of the Commission
- Her continued stay undermines the credibility of the Electoral Commission
- Her presence undermines the principle of fair trial.
- With her still at post, she stampede the availability of witnesses
- 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 Osei and 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.