Ex-CHRAJ boss wades into EC’s saga

Former Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Emile Short says the accusations that President Nana Akufo-Addo had a vendetta against former Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, Charlotte Osei are not true.

According to him the President followed due process.

“I think it is important that we understand the legal process, the judicial process involved in impeachment process to avoid making statements which run counter provisions to the constitutional provisions relating to impeachment proceeds,” he stated.

The removal of Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwa, from office, followed the recommendation of a Committee set up by the Chief Justice.

Charlotte Osei was investigated over six allegations of various procurement breaches, for which a prima facie case was established against her.

The committee’s recommendations were binding on the President, Mr. Short noted.

“The President doesn’t have discretion in the matter so I don’t understand the argument or the statements of those who are saying that the President had acted in a manner which suggests that he had victimized the persons concerned.”

Meanwhile a member of pressure group, OccupyGhana, Sydney Casely-Hayford, has also added his voice to the argument.

According to him, the immediate past EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, did  not deserve any sympathy from Ghanaians.

President Nana Akufo-Addo removed Charlotte and two EC commissioners, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah from office on Thursday, June 28, 2018  for infractions such as procurement breaches and negligence in financial matters.

This follows recommendations by a committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate petitions against the three top EC officials.
Charlotte according to the report had six allegations against her, four against Amadu Sulley and four against Georgina Opoku Amankwa.”

She had subsequently indicated that she will comment on her dismissal in due time.

But Casely Hayford said, it will be needless for the dismissed EC Chair to put up any defence since the constitutional procedures were duly followed in removing the EC officials from office.

“Charlotte Osei has even gotten no moral right to come and say ‘I’m mourning Paa Kwesi Arthur so I will not talk about myself until I have finished mourning Paa Kwesi Arthur. There is no sympathy call on this one. She should not even try to create any sympathy juices for us to try and salivate on and wait for what she has to say.We are not interested. She has no side of the story.

“The thing has been investigated, we have followed due process. There is a whole article under the constitution spelling out how such matters should be handled.”

Mr. Casely Hayford however argued that the dismissed officials could sue over their dismissal if they feel they had been unfairly treated.

“I think it will be a very good idea, and I will encourage her and her deputies to go to court if they sincerely believe that they have been wrongly treated, they should go to court. It will test our constitution and give us an opportunity to correct these loopholes once and for all and make it work,” said Casely Hayford.

 

Story: Edward BLAGOGEE

Writer’s Email: edward.blagogee@todaygh.com

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