The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, have arrived at the office of the Judicial Service located at the Supreme Court, as the Chief Justice prepares to hear a petition filed against the EC boss’ office.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that a five-member committee has been set up by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, to investigate the alleged acts of corruption involving the Electoral Commission Chair, and her two Deputies, Amadu Sulley (in charge of Operations) and Georgina Amankwa (in charge of Corporate Services.
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.
Amadu Sulley ‘illegally’ took GHC 6m from parties – Charlotte Osei
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.
EC Deputy Chair ‘illegally’ signed over GHC40m contract – Charlotte Osei
Charlotte Osei among others, 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 the media 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.
Deal with Charlotte Osei petitions to save EC’s integrity – Inusah
The Ranking Member on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, Inusah Fuseini, recently called on the Chief Justice to hurriedly determine whether a prima facie case has been established against the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) Charlotte Osei, in order to clear any lingering doubts about the integrity of the Commission’s leadership.
According to him, there is a risk of “paralyzing” the EC from carrying out its constitutionally mandated functions if the allegations against the EC Chair and other officials of the Commission are allowed to fester without any timely resolution.
CODEO questions ‘silence’ on missing Ghc480,000 EC endowment fund probe
The Coalition of Domestic Elections Observers (CODEO), also expressed reservations about the silence of the agencies investigating the disappearance of money from the Electoral Commission (EC)’s Endowment Fund.
According to the Coalition, it is imperative that the country’s election supervisory body is free from any issues that might raise doubts about the EC’s integrity. Reports are that EOCO has concluded its probe into the matter, after the suspects were asked to proceed on leave.
The officials are the Commission’s Deputy Chairperson in-charge of Finance and Administration, Georgina Opoku Amankwah, Chief Accountant, Kwaku Owusu Agyei-Larbi and Finance Officer, Joseph Kwaku Asamoah.
Money not in officials’ accounts
EOCO revealed in September that, the money which went missing from the EC’s Endowment Fund did not end up in the accounts of the officials being investigated.
They however insisted that it was too early to conclude that the officials are innocent, given the mandate and access they had to the funds during the period.
The Executive Director of EOCO, K. K. Amoah, at the time, stated that, investigations were far advanced into the matter, and that they would submit their findings to the Attorney General very soon.
“We are still on the case. I met with my colleagues and we noticed that, the money did not end up in the accounts of the officials, so right now it is missing,” he said.
“It is too early to conclude anyone is innocent because [Georgina Opoku Amankwah] was in charge of the Endowment Fund and [Asamoah] was the auditor at the time. In a few days, we’ll make our determinations.”
According to him, there have been claims that the money from the Endowment Fund was used for some projects for the EC, but he said no documents have been provided to prove this claim.
“It’s been suggested that the money was used for some work for the EC. If that’s the case, they should bring receipts and documents to prove it. We haven’t got any such documents from them. Without those documents, we’ll continue to pursue them. With time, we will pass the information on to the Attorney General to pursue the matter in court.”