FIRED! Charlotte Osei, FIRED! Amadu Sulley and FIRED! Georgina Opoku-Amankwa
President Akufo-Addo yesterday removed the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku-Amankwah from office.
This was after a committee set up by Chief Justice Sophia A.B Akuffo to investigate allegations of misconduct and incompetence found them guilty.
The committee also investigated allegations of abuse of office and conflict of interest.
The three have been involved in heated and spirited media warfare, accusing each other of wrongdoing.
It follows a petition filed by three citizens for their removal from office.
A statement issued and signed by Information Minister, Mustapha Abdul Hamid yesterday evening said:
“The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has, on Thursday, 28th June, 2018, removed from office the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies, Mr. Amadu Sulley and Ms. Georgina Opoku-Amankwah, with immediate effect.”
This was after the committee set up by the Chief Justice, pursuant to Article 146(4) of the Constitution, to investigate separate complaints brought against the three persons by Ghanaian citizens, recommended their removal from office.
The statement said “the committee recommended their removal on the basis of stated misbehaviour and incompetence, pursuant to Article 146(1) of the Constitution.”
The provisions of Article 146(9) of the Constitution require the President of the Republic to act in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee.
President Akufo-Addo has since directed the three persons to hand over their respective schedules to the Director for Human Resource and General Services of the Electoral Commission (EC).
He thanked them for their services to the nation.
Sources said the president communicated the CJ committee’s recommendations to the affected people yesterday.
The in-camera proceedings reportedly ended on Thursday, May 19 when the petitioners and respondents in the matter officially closed their cases.
Both the petitioners and the three EC bosses, namely Charlotte Osei, Amadu Sulley in-charge of Operations and Georgina Opoku Amankwah in-charge of Corporate Services were given up to June 8 to file their addresses for which they complied.
Series of Allegations
DAILY GUIDE’s sources claimed the petitioners filed their addresses and reiterated their allegations of illegal payments, breaches of procurement law and gross misconduct which triggered impeachment proceedings for the removal of the EC boss.
They insisted that the EC chairperson must be shown the exit.
They were concerned about violation of Sections 14 and 15 of the Public Procurement Act 2003, (Act 663), as amended by the Public Procurement (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 914).
They reportedly maintained that serious breaches of law and misconduct amounting in part to incompetence on the part of Charlotte Osei were real and proceeded to provide evidence to back the allegations.
The petitioners further reinforced their claims that the EC boss unilaterally appointed a private law firm without recourse to the commission or the Public Procurement Act and allegedly authorized the payment of huge sums of money to the law firm although the said firm had no formal approved contract with the commission.
It turned out that the petitioners’ testimony was corroborated by senior officers and some members of the commission in the course of the proceedings, with Charlotte Osei confirming all the claims when confronted.
The petitioners also reportedly pushed a case of $108,510 paid to a private company called Dream Oval Ltd based on the approval from the EC boss, even though the commission was said to have no contract with the said company, and it was believed to be in clear breach of the Procurement Act and the Financial Administration Act.
The petitioners reportedly exhibited to the committee how the EC boss procured goods and services without prior approval of the Public Procurement Authority; procurement of goods and services over and above the approved limits set by the Public Procurement Authority and procurement of goods and services beyond the limit of the EC boss as head of the entity.
Petitioners were said to have further pushed a case in which the EC boss allegedly awarded a contract to the tune of $22,340,814 to Super Tech Ltd (STL) without recourse to the commission or the PPA.
New EC Office
The petitioners from the onset insisted that Charlotte Osei unilaterally took the decision to move the EC headquarters to a new office complex by claiming the decision was from the Presidency.
The EC boss, reportedly, commissioned companies to partition the new office complex but the petitioners allegedly provided evidence to show that the contracts to two of the entities exceeded the figures approved by the Public Procurement Authority to the tune of GH¢565,976.08 and GH¢209,443.75 respectively.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent