Impeccable information available to Today from Jubilee House, the seat of government, indicates that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is fervently consulting with all the necessary stakeholders to nominate three distinguished Ghanaians to fill the vacant positions at the Electoral Commission (EC).
This has become necessary following the removal from office the EC Boss, Mrs Charlotte Osei, and her two Deputies, Amadu Sulley and Mrs Georgina Opoku Amankwa.
The removal from office of the three EC commissioners on Thursday, June 28, 2018 stemmed from recommendations by a committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, pursuant to Article 146(4) of the 1992 Constitution, to investigate separate complaints brought against the three persons by Ghanaian citizens.
It will be recalled that some staff of the EC petitioned President Akufo-Addo somewhere in July 2017, to remove Mrs Osei from office over allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance as well as abuse of office.
A five-member committee was subsequently set up by the Chief Justice to investigate the alleged corruption.
The committee recommended their removal on the basis of stated misbehaviour and incompetence, pursuant to Article 146 (1) of the Constitution.
And shortly after the announcement of their removal from office by the Minister of Information, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid on that Thursday night became public, as it is expected in every developed democracy, our sources at the Jubilee House said, scores of Ghanaians who are interested in the vacant positions, both home and abroad, began lobbying through some prominent chiefs and the clergy.
But while they are doing everything possible through their hired lobbyists to catch the attention of the President, Today can authoritatively say that President Akufo-Addo, who, barring any unforeseen circumstances, is expected to name the successor of Mrs Osei this week on the advice of the members of the Council of State as Article 70 of the 1992 Constitution enjoins him to do.
Indeed the paper learnt that the President has his mind on different people who are not in the picture at all.
Among the names that have been penciled down by the President, and consequently to be presented to the Council of State for consideration and advice, a reliable source at the Asylum Down head office of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) told Today include the Director of Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), Professor Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu, Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, and Prof Emmanuel Gyimah- Boadi, former Executive Director of Ghana Centre of Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana)
Out of the three afore-mentioned names, our Jubilee House sources said, Prof Mensa-Bonsu stands tall and was likely to be nominated by the President to head Ghana’s electoral body.
What may go against Dr Akwetey and Prof Gyimah-Boadi is that, in the case of the former, his estranged wife, Dr Sylvia Anie, formerly of the Ghana Aids Commission (GAC), during former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s regime is believed to be a member of the NPP.
That, the sources said, will make his credibility doubtful, as same was allegedly used against him by then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) when the EC position became vacant in 2015 after the retirement of Dr Kwadwo Afari-Djan.
“We don’t want to leave any room for our political opponents, rented civil society groups and the media to destructively criticise us for appointing our own to head the EC,” the sources said.
As for Prof Gyimah-Boadi, who is 65 years now, the sources said, “it is obvious age is not on his side, and his health conditions will make it difficult for him to perform.”
If these reasons assigned to the disqualification of the above two are to hold, then Ghanaians should expect another woman again this time from the academia to run the affairs of the EC.
Story: Atta KWAKU BOADI
Writer’s email: email@example.com