President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday, June 28 removed from office the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah.
A statement signed by the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, indicated that the President acted on the recommendations of the committee set up by Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, in pursuant to Article 146 (4) of the Constitution.
The aftermath of the removal of the officers has been a politically polarized commentary especially in the case of the Chair, Charlotte Osei.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) claims the act of “witch-hunting” is being orchestrated by the ruling New Patriotic Party to rig the 2020 elections.
The NPP, however, disagrees, stating it was a lawful process.The President has noted that he had no option but to remove the commissioners because the law requires him to do so.
“Faceless” staff of the Electoral Commission petitioned the President, Nana Akufo-Addo to impeach then EC boss Charlotte Osei.
The petition cited her in 27 allegations, some of which included incompetence, breach of procurement laws, lack of knowledge on corporate governance, corruption and compromise of commission’s independence.
Two other petitions were sent to the President seeking the removal of the deputy electoral commissioners: Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah.
Charlotte Osei wrote to the lawyer of the “faceless” petitioners demanding the names and signatures of all the “Concern staff of the EC” who sought her impeachment.
Charlotte Osei responded to each of the 27 allegations leveled against her explaining she did nothing wrong in each case and asked the petitioners to provide further particulars. She turned around to accuse her deputies of corruption, breach of procurement laws, and insubordination.
She further noted the petition was defamatory for which reason she would sue. Eventually, she dragged the lawyer for the petitioners to court.
The President received the petitions and referred same to the Chief Justice in accordance with Article 146(3).
Another petition from a private citizen was sent to the President to get the EC Chair out of office.
The Chief Justice upon receiving the petitions and perusing same established a prima facie case against the Chair of the Commission and her deputies. Out of 27 allegations, she was required to respond to six of them.
Charlotte Osei wrote to President Akufo-Addo and the Chief Justice to make available to her, a copy of the petition, which was the basis of her being probed.
She wrote seeking clarification as to the composition and the terms of reference of the Committee and indicated her willingness to avail herself for investigation but said will not compromise on her constitutional and legal rights.
The Chief Justice commissioned a five-member committee to investigate the complaints brought before it and to make recommendation.
The President then acted on the recommendations of the committee in accordance with Article 146 (9) of the 1992 constitution to remove the Commissioner and her deputies.