The Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) is on the heels of three top officers of the Electoral Commission, including the Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, over the abuse of office and corruption scandal that has rocked the commission.
The political pressure group has written to the Chief Justice to expedite action on two separate petitions that are seeking to trigger impeachment proceedings against the EC bosses.
“The LMVCA has monitored keenly recent developments involving the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and two other deputies of the Commission. The matters of allegations of corruption, financial impropriety and others which bother purely on criminality, are the levels of accusations the commissioners leveled against one another,” the group said in a statement issued in Accra and signed by its Director of Operations, John H. Acquah Jnr.
A litany of allegations and counter allegations of corruption and abuse of office has been leveled against Mrs. Osei and her two deputies – Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, in-charge of Corporate Services and Amadu Sulley, in-charge of Operations.
In the case of the EC chairperson, there are two petitions, including allegation of spending GH¢3.9 million to partition an office, receipt of a Toyota Land Cruiser from the erstwhile Mahama-led NDC government, spending about $14 million when the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) had authorized her to use only $7.5 million, as well as attending Cabinet meetings during the tenure of President John Dramani Mahama, among other issues.
The first petition was filed by unnamed EC staff who are being led by Lawyer Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, against Mrs. Osei, who in turn has since sued the lawyer for defamation.
The second was filed by a lawyer called Douglas Seidu who is claiming that Mrs Osei breached public procurement practices and provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663), as well as involving in gross financial mismanagement.
Mrs Charlotte Osei, through her lawyers – Sory@Law – who are also the commission’s external solicitors, hit back at her accusers, insisting that she had not been corrupt or abused her office and rather accused her two deputies of deliberately scheming to frustrate her stay in office.
In her initial response, the chairperson openly accused Ms. Opoku-Amankwaa of signing contracts worth over $40 million without her knowledge and authorization, between May and September 2015.
In the ensuing heat, the LMVCA said the investigation into the allegation against the EC officials could not be delayed.
“In the midst of the above, however, counsel for a group of petitioners, Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang Esq, by a letter dated 20th July, 2017, presented to the Office of the President a 27-point petition, citing allegations of misconduct against the electoral commission chair and calling for her impeachment.
“It is however, recalled the matter was referred to the Chief Justice on 28th July, 2017 by the President of the Republic of Ghana in pursuant to the terms of Article 146(3) of the 1992 Constitution,” the statement posited.
It added, “The LMVCA is by this release urging the Chief Justice to act expeditiously on the petition in order to resolve the current impasse at the EC and to restore the integrity of the election management body. The EC is a sensitive institution in our democratic dispensation. It is therefore crucial that every effort is made to fully address the petition and to rid the EC of all charges of corruption and malfeasance.”
According to the group, the swift resolution of the corruption and abuse of office allegation would restore public confidence and enable the EC to resume smooth operations as the institution responsible for public elections in the country.
“With the upcoming elections in the various District Assemblies, internal political party primaries as well as possible by-elections, the LMVCA is of the firm conviction that the electoral commission of Ghana presently lacks the ability to conduct fair, open, transparent and credible elections with this current disposition of fractured integrity and credibility.
“We call on the Chief Justice and all concerned to handle the petition with utmost urgency in order to present the EC as an institution capable of carrying out its mandate of organizing elections in this country,” the statement indicated.