An aggrieved deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Georgina Opoku-Amankwa, has put up a strong defense against the twenty-five (25) points of allegations leveled against her by the Chairperson of the electoral management body, Mrs. Charlotte Osei.
In her response to those allegations, Madam Opoku-Amankwa noted that the Chairperson of the EC allegedly rejected the official office that was used by her predecessor, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, claiming that office was not safe and fit for her occupation.
She also allegedly rejected a V8 Land cruiser vehicle that was used by Dr. Afari-Gyan as his official duty vehicle on similar grounds.
Charlotte Osei, she noted, instead opted for the office of the Human Resource Directorate since that was convenient for use.
“The claim by the Chairperson that she was never given an office is false. An allegation like this gives the impression that the Commission was created after the Chairperson was appointed. Since 1992, the Commission had been chaired by Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan for over two decades. Mrs. Charlotte Osei was appointed after a successful retirement of the then Chairman. Upon assumption of office, she was given the office of her predecessor. This office is situated in the same premises of the two deputies. Strangely, she refused to take up the office claiming that she had a security audit conducted by a security detail from the Office of the President and indicated that the office was not fit and safe for her occupation. Rather, she disorganized the whole Human Resource Directorate by choosing the directorate’s office as place of her preference. Since this office is just next to her former office as NCCE Chair, she found it convenient for use. She accordingly instructed the then Director of Human Resource who was occupying that office to vacate the office for her use,” Madam Opoku-Amankwa noted in her response letter that has been intercepted by Kasapafmonline.com. According to Madam Opoku-Amankwa, the EC Chairperson having taken over the office of the Human Resource Directorate thereafter “contracted her own artisans to do a complete makeover fitting with shower cubicle fittings and furniture in the office.”
She said a bill covering the works done was submitted for reimbursement but was subsequently withdrawn after it was vehemently opposed for non-compliance of the procurement process.
“I wish to state emphatically and unequivocally that I was not privy to any of these arrangements although this lies within my realm of responsibility. She [Charlotte Osei] preferred to deal with the directors.”
The EC Chair, Madam Opoku-Amankwa further noted, chose to live in the accommodation provided by the NCCE claiming that the “official residence her predecessor used is not fit for her status”.
“It was recently that she requested for a total refurbishment of the official bungalow. I was later informed by my director of finance that she submitted a bill and architectural drawings which indicated demolition and rebuilding the entire structure.”
Interestingly, Charlotte Osei also declared the official V8 Land cruiser that was used by Dr. Afari-Gyan as unfit to use.
“I wish to state that she [Charlotte Osei] declared the official vehicle used by her predecessor, a 2014 registered V8 Land cruiser procured only a year before her appointment as unfit to use. Unknown to members of the Commission, she arranged for a brand new 2015 V8 Land cruiser vehicle from the Office of the President and in addition to this she reverted the 2014 registered V8 Land cruiser (Dr. Afari-Gyan’s official vehicle) for use by her household. It is important to note that the two Deputies as at now continue to use 2011 registered vehicles inherited from their predecessors,” Madam Georgina Opoku-Amankwa’s response in part read. Madam Charlotte according to some concerned staff of the EC who have petitioned the President to initiate impeachment process against her, accused the EC Boss of compromising the independence and neutrality of the Commission by arranging for 2015 V8 Land cruiser with registration number WR 2291-15 from the Office of the President for use as official vehicle without going through the procurement process or recourse to the Commission.”
The EC boss in her response rubbished such claims and argued that she does not use a vehicle with the said registration number.
However, she admitted taking a vehicle from the Office of the Chief Staff as her official vehicle insisting that was not a new practice in Ghana’s public service.
“Indeed, the office of the Chief of Staff provided and continues to provide vehicles for many government institutions and appointees. The Chairperson could therefore not have compromised her independence or neutrality as she neither requested nor lobbied for the said vehicle,” she noted in her response to the claim raised by the petitioners.