The former Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Emile Short, says the accusations that President Nana Akufo-Addo was pursuing a personal vendetta against former Electoral Commission Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, are misplaced.
Mr. Short is also convinced that 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 to the constitutional provisions relating to impeachment process,” 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.”
In his first comments on the matter, President Akufo-Addo also explained that he simply followed the law.
“Article 146(9) of the Constitution demands that I act on the recommendations of the committee. I have no power to disagree with the recommendations of the Committee, the Constitution does not give me that power. That is why I have removed the Chairperson of the EC and the two deputies.”
Where the Chief Justice decides that there is a prima facie case, he shall set up a committee consisting of three Justices of the Superior Courts or Chairmen of the Regional Tribunals or both, appointed by the Judicial
The President shall, in each case, act in accordance with the recommendations of the committee. – Article 146
The President’s assertions are unlikely to go down well with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
It views the removal of the Charlotte Osei, as an attempt by the Akufo-Addo government to rig the 2020 elections.
The Greater Accra Regional Chairman for the NDC, Ade Coker, suggested that the NDC may adopt a new stance if similar action was taken in other state agencies.
He said that was the only way Charlotte Osei’s removal will not appear to be politically motivated.
“All those government institutions and ministers who have violated these procurement laws that we are talking about… from Tuesday [July 3], the President should start acting,” Mr. Ade Coker said on Citi FM's 'Big Issue' programme on Saturday.