The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa, and her deputies — Dr Eric Bossman Asare and Mr Samuel Tettey, have filed a suit at the Supreme Court, over a petition by the #FixTheCountry Movement demanding their removal from office.
It comes on the back of the movement’s petition to the President to have the leadership of the electoral management body relieved of their post over the inability of the residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) to vote for a representative in Parliament in the 2020 general election.
Joined to the suit as first, second and third defendants are: Convener of the #FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, the Chief Justice and Attorney General.
The EC suit is to stop ongoing impeachment proceedings against the trio.
Mr Barker-Vormawor in a January 10, Facebook update, shared a press statement indicating that he together with 45 others had petitioned the Presidency demanding the removal of the said officials for their failure to organise parliamentary elections for residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL).
The petitioners assert that the actions of the EC officials, “if considered in context and in the light of the preceding and subsequent conduct, meet the threshold of stated misbehaviour and or incompetence as required under Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution for the removal of these officers”.
The said statement noted that the Supreme Court had in a number of cases noted the importance of such impeachment proceedings being held in-camera.
“The Supreme Court has in a string of decisions held that the contents of a petition brought under Article 146 of the constitution cannot be made public in order to protect the privacy interest of the Article 146 officeholders.
“While the petitioners find it bizarre that the Supreme Court will aid public office holders to assert non-existent personal privacy interests in grave matters of public interest and in connection with the performance of their duties, they have reticently agreed to embargo the release of the full content of the petition,” the statement said.
The EC officials, in their writ filed at the Supreme Court, alleged that Barker-Vormawor had published contents of the petition seeking their removal in the media contrary to Article 146(8) of Ghana’s constitution.
This provision states, “All proceedings under this Article shall be held in camera, and the justice or chairman against whom the petition is made is entitled to be heard in his defence by himself or by a lawyer or other expert of his choice”.
The Supreme Court dealt with this issue in the case of J1/29/2015 Dery v Tiger Eye Pi & 2 Ors, Ghana Bar Association v. Attorney-General and Another [1995-96] 1GLR and Agyei- Twum v. Attorney-General and Akwetey [2005-2006] SCGLR 732.