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22 July 2017

Confirmed! President receives petition for impeachment of EC boss

The presidency says it has now received a petition from some workers of the Electoral Commission seeking the impeachment of the Electoral Commissioner for stated misbehaviour.

Communications Director at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, confirmed hours after Myjoyonline.com had published a story indicating the presidency was yet to recieve the petition.

Joy News has intercepted a 27-point petition in which allegations of misbehaviour, mismanagement have been made against the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei.

The petition, signed by private legal practitioner, Maxwell Opoku Agyemang who is counsel for the petitioners stated among others, that the Chairperson of the Commission in many instances breached the Procurement Law in procuring goods and services for the Commission.

In what the petitioners claim to be a one-woman show, Charlotte Osei was alleged to have unilaterally and without recourse to procurement procedures engaged the services of lawyers, Sory@Law who represented the Commission in the pre-election legal banter with aggrieved parties and disqualified flagbearers.

She was also alleged to have abrogated an existing contract with Super Tech  Ltd. (STL), unilaterally renegotiating and re-awarding the contract at new sum of $21,999,592 without serious regard to the tender processes.

“The chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei unilaterally awarded a contract of about $25,000 to a South African company Quazar Limited to change and re-develop the Commission’s Logo under the guise of rebranding without going through tender contrary to the Public Procurement Act,” point 26 of the petition read.

Apart from the breaches of the Procurement Law, the petitioners claimed the EC chair compromised her position and the independence of the Commission by attending cabinet meetings during the tenure of the John Mahama administration and even caused the arrangement of a 2015 Land Cruiser with registration number WR 2291-15 from the office of the president for use as her official vehicle.

The petitioners also levelled allegations of managerial, administrative incompetence and ineptitude against the EC Chair.

So bad is her human relations, that the EC Chair is not on talking terms with the two other deputies and has not even visited any of the district EC offices ever since she was appointed, the petitioners claimed.

“The chairperson has submitted an estimate of over 1 million for the renovation of the official bungalow for the Chairperson without recourse to the Commission or the appropriate staff in the commission,” the petitioners claimed.

The July 13, 2017 petition has now reached the presidency, Myjoyonline.com can confirm.

Attempts to speak to workers of the EC and spokespersons for a response or reaction have proved futile.

Legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini, who led a similar petition which led to the impeachment of the former Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mrs Vivian Lauretta Lamptey said the first port of call for such a petition is the presidency and not the media.

Explaining the procedures involved in the impeachment of commissioners, the lawyer said the EC Chairman is deemed to have the same status and must be subjected to same impeachment procedures as a Court of Appeal judge.

Chronicling the procedures involved, he said, the presidency must first be seized with a copy of the petition after which he will then hand it over to the Chief Justice who shall conduct a preliminary investigation into the allegations.

If there is a prima facie case against the Chairperson, a full-scale investigation will be launched into the stated misconduct.

According to Lardy Anyenini, the report presented to the president after the investigations must be binding on him.

If the committee recommends removal, as happened in the case of Loretta Lamptey, the president will have no choice but to sanction it.

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