New EC chair Jean Mensa; 2 deputies sworn into office

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
New EC chair Jean Mensa; 2 deputies sworn into office. PICTURES BY SAMUEL TEI ADANO
New EC chair Jean Mensa; 2 deputies sworn into office. PICTURES BY SAMUEL TEI ADANO

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday evening sworn into office, Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa as the new chairperson of Electoral Commission to take over from Mrs Charlotte Osei.

Also sworn into office Wednesday evening were Mr. Samuel Tettey (2nd from left in photo above), formerly a Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission and Dr. Eric Asare Bossman (3rd from left in photo above), formerly head of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana as the two new deputies.

Ms. Adwoa Asuama Abrefa (extreme left in photo above), a corporate lawyer was also sworn in as a member of the Electoral Commission to fill the vacancy created following the compulsory retirement of Mrs. Pauline Adobea Dadzawa on Monday, April 30, 2018.

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Mrs Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa were removed from office as chairperson and deputies on Thursday, June 28, 2018 by President Akufo-Addo.

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This was after a Committee established by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, found them to be incompetent, guilty of misbehaviour and breach of procurement laws in the award of several contracts and subsequently recommended their removal from office.

President Akufo-Addo following the removal nominated the four new persons and forwarded their names to the Council of State for advice in line with the 1992 Constitution.

The Council of State last week forwarded its advice on the four nominees to the Presidency and gave the green light for the appointment.

An attempt by a Ghanaian citizen, Fafali Nyonator to injunct President Akufo-Addo from appointing a replacement for the removed EC commissioners pending a hearing was thrown out by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Read also: Court dismisses application to stop Akufo-Addo from appointing new EC boss

Fafali Nyonator has filed a suit at the Supreme Court challenging the removal of Mrs Charlotte Osei, saying it was "unlawful" and therefore wanted the Supreme Court to stop President Akufo-Addo from going ahead to appoint a new person to fill the vacuum until the final determination of the case.

But in a ruling Tuesday, July 31, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the interlocutory application.

The court held that the application was not necessary because the court had the power to nullify the appointment of Mrs Jean Mensa if the substantive case succeeds.

Such powers, the court held, was grounded in Article 2 clause 2 of the 1992 Constitution.

Constitution on the appointment of EC Commissioners

Article 46 of the 1992 Constitution which talks about the qualification and appointment of Members of the Electoral Commission, states that "(1) A person is not qualified to be appointed a member of the Commission unless he is qualified to be elected as a member of Parliament."

It adds: "(2) The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairmen and the other members of the Commission

This means that the appointment of EC Commissioners does not require Parliamentary approval and therefore once the Council of State gives the green light on the nominees, the President can go ahead, make the appointment and swear them into office.

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