Today can report that it has not been easy for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) since some faceless staff of the Electoral Commission (EC) last week petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to impeach the Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Charlotte Osei.
The ongoing impasse at the EC, ostensibly between the EC boss and her two deputies, Today gathered, was seriously tearing apart the seat of government, the Flagstaff House.
While some presidential staffers, including some national and regional party executives, believe that it is payback time to see to the removal of the embattled EC boos, our investigations show that others think otherwise.
Allegations raised in the said petition range from questions about the EC boss managerial competence, political neutrality and what the staff say were breaches of contracts and the public procurement act.
The petition, which was sent to President Akufo-Addo last week, requires him by law to forward it to the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, for a determination to be made on the matter.
And if the CJ establishes a prima facie case on the matter, she is bound by law to set up a five-member committee to probe into the matter which could lead to the impeachment of the EC chair.
But those in the NPP who are against the impeachment move, Today gathered, believe that it will give the ruling government a bad name, hence the need for the President to tread cautiously in dealing with the issue.
Today further gathered that the group had subsequently sent a counter petition to President Akufo-Addo not bow to the whims and caprices of some selfish individuals at the EC’s head office in Accra to do the “unthinkable.”
“What will our main rivals, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), say when we trigger the impeachment process,” two presidential staffers who pleaded to speak on condition of anonymity told Today at the weekend.
“Already they (the NDC) have alleged that we are behind the whole matter, and we must not fall for their pranks,” they cautioned.
Also, a suspended founder member of the NPP, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, last week called on President Akufo-Addo to throw away the petition, warning him to be mindful of its negative implications on the country’s democracy.
However, according to some members of the NPP, the law must be allowed to work.
They argued that nobody, including Mrs. Charlotte Osei, was above the laws of this country, and therefore she must face the law like any other person.
Describing the impeachment petition as a “litmus test” for President Akufo-Addo to prove to the world that he is a true democrat, and a respecter of rule of law, those for the impeachment blamed the EC boss for what is happening at the electoral management body.
Speaking on News File on Joy FM in Accra at the weekend, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. O.B. Amoah, said the EC chairperson risks proceeding on leave if the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) begins investigations into the 28-point petition demanding her impeachment.
He said EOCO might approach the petition in the same way it is handling a separate case involving two other officials of the EC.
His position on the matter was endorsed by another stalwart of the NPP in the Ashanti Region, a former lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Richard Amoako Baah, increasing the pressure on President Akufo-Addo to kick-start the impeachment process.
Another member of the NPP who is one of the party’s communicators in the Ashanti Region has also joined the impeachment chorus of Mrs. Charlotte Osei.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo must not waste time in cracking the whip if the chairperson of EC is found culpable of the allegations levelled against her by the so-called concerned staff of the commission.
“Treat her same as former President John Dramani Mahama treated the former boss of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Madam Lauretta Lamptey,” Kwaku Ntim Twumasi admonished.
“The EC chair like Madam Lauretta Lamptey is not above the law therefore we expect the President to act according to the law if found culpable,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Charlotte Osei has responded to all the 28 allegations levelled against her in the petition, describing them as baseless and unfounded.