Akufo-Addo’s handling of Charlotte Osei petitions wrong – Sam George


    National Democratic Congress [NDC] Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George, has accused President Akufo-Addo of exercising bad judgment in forwarding the petition seeking the impeachment of the Electoral Commission Chairperson, to the Chief Justice.

    According to him, the late former president, John Atta Mills, showed exemplary leadership when he did not act on a similar petition seeking the removal of the then Chief Justice, Georgina Wood, over the purchase of some state lands.

    Speaking to Citi News, the Ningo-Prampram MP said the petition against the EC boss had emanated from faceless personalities and labelled it as frivolous.

    “President Nana Akufo-Addo may have had the best of intentions, but he has erred in his judgment in deciding to proceed with this frivolous petition by unnamed persons, faceless beings who we are being told are now surfacing, against the Electoral Commission boss. I think that some of the things that the three of them have been engaged in are not necessarily the best, and do not necessarily have the best picture. However, the way to go about it is not to try to gamble because playing with the Electoral Commission, is playing with our democracy,” he said.

    Some staff of the EC petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in July 2017, to remove Mrs. Osei from office over allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance as well as abuse of office.

    Some of the allegations involved the unilateral award of contracts by the EC boss in the run-up to the 2016 general election.

    The unnamed EC staff, are being represented by Lawyer Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, against Mrs. Osei.

    The petition against her alleged among others the funneling of GH¢3.9 million to partition an office, the receipt of a Toyota Land Cruiser from the Mahama government, and the use of about $14 million when the Public Procurement Authority had authorized her to use only $7.5 million.

    A prima facie case has since been established against Mr. Osei and her deputies, and a five-member committee is to be set up by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo to probe the allegations.

    Charlotte Osei hits back

    Mrs. Osei also responded by making allegations of corruption against her deputies, claiming that she was only being hounded because she sought to introduce systems to curb misuse and mismanagement of resources.

    Charlotte Osei among others claims, accused deputy Chairperson of the Commission of illegally signing contracts worth over GHC 40 million without her approval.

    Fresh impeachment against EC Chair

    Subsequently, another individual by name Douglas Seidu, a concerned Ghanaian, also petitioned the President in August 2017, seeking the removal of the EC Chair, on grounds of “financial misconduct, incompetence, conflict of interest, breaches of the public procurement processes, amongst others. It is an eight-paged petition” according to the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, who spoke to Citi News in August.

    President Akufo-Addo in accordance with the constitution forwarded both petitions to the Chief Justice to look into the matter.

    Suggestions are that both petitions have been consolidated to make the committee’s work easier.