Presidency receives petition asking EC chair to be removed

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission
Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

The Presidency has confirmed receiving a petition from some staff of the Electoral Commission asking that the chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei should be removed.

The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin confirmed this to Graphic Online’s presidential correspondent, Victor Kwawukume on Wednesday afternoon.

In the petition, EC staff, calling themselves concerned workers of the Electoral Commission (EC) are asking the President and and the Chief Justice to begin impeachment processes against the Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei for misconduct.

In a six-page petition dated Thursday, July 13, 2017 and signed by their counsel, Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, the group accused the EC Boss of misconduct, citing breaches of some provisions of the 1992 Constitution as well as the Public Procurement Act, Act 663.

The group accused Mrs Osei of taking unilateral decisions without recourse to the appropriate departments, even her deputies.

They mentioned for instance her engagement in activities they said was "fraudulent", citing her decision to cancel a contract awarded to Superlock Technologies Limited (STL) to supply and manage Biometric Voter Registration machines (BVRs) and the Biometric Voter Devices (BVDs), as well as her directive for the payment of $76,000 to IT firm, Dream Oval.

“One of the contractors by name Messrs Contracts & Cads Limited is related to Mrs. Charlotte Osei. Upon receipt of advance mobilization under the approval of the Chairperson, the company has failed to meet the contract terms,” the statement said.

“The chairperson has constituted herself into the Commission’s Tender Review Commission contrary to the Public Procurement Act. She singularly chairs the Entity Tender Committee and the Tender Review Committee at the same time. This puts her into conflict of interest position and this is a clear breach of the public procurement act,” it added.

Read also: EC staff petition Prez to remove Charlotte Osei

Constitutional provision on removal of EC boss

Article 44 (2)(3) of the 1992 Constitution states that the Chairperson of the EC shall have the same terms and conditions of service as a Justice of the Court of Appeal.

Per that, the Chairperson of EC cannot be removed from office except for “stated misbehaviour or incompetence or on grounds of inability to perform the functions of his/her office arising from infirmity of body or mind”.

Article 151(1) also states, “A persons holding a judicial office may be removed from office by the Chief Justice on the grounds only of stated misbehaviour, incompetence or inability to perform his/her functions arising from infirmity of body or mind and upon a resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all members of the Judicial Council”.