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Akufo-Addo did no wrong sacking Charlotte Osei – Kweku Baako

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr

The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr has said President Akufo-Addo did no wrong sacking the chairperson of the Electoral Commission and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa following the recommendations of the committee that investigated them.

“I have to be very frank with you, I was on her [Charlotte Osei] side, I’m still on her side and I did it with all my conscience and conviction, and I still stand by her, that’s important, it’s a matter of conviction, conscience and commitment to a just course,” Mr Baako said on Joy News’ Newsfile programme on Saturday.

However, he said in terms of the legal processes, “What the President [Akufo-Addo] had to do relative to the constitution, I have no difficulty with that. I think a lot of people are trying to shift the focus of the discussion.”

Mr Baako made reference to other precedents such as the Lauretta Lamptey case, where she was sacked as Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in 2015 by President John Mahama.

Another case is that of Dr Oppong, who was also dismissed as deputy commissioner of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), through a similar process in 1999. Dr Oppong went to the Supreme Court to appeal the decision but he was dismissed.

From that example, Mr Baako said there was therefore a precedent and “we shouldn’t be wasting too much time on those aspects, needless argumentations as far as I am concerned.”


Hiccups

However, he said there were initial hiccups with the procedure and Mrs Charlotte Osei contested it and there were remedies.

“I think we should move on and focus on the substance of the issue. I was following the committee’s work consistently…addresses, testimonies, and I have to be very honest with you, the petitioners and their testimony,” had issues.

“There was a gentleman who was a driver, Forson Ampofo, I am not a lawyer... his testimony was a complete disaster. The person who had led the petitioners and was claiming that he was doing it on the basis of personal knowledge of the allegations that he had made, when he appeared before the committee, actually showed that he had no personal knowledge of anything that had been put in their petition.”

Mr Baako said it came out that one of the petitioners was dead and quoting from the record of proceedings, Mr Forson Ampofo had no idea of the question of threshold for chairperson and other members.

“He had even claimed that he attends commission meetings and had personal knowledge but it turned out that it was nil. It is only when management had issues with labour and labour leaders are being called, and he being one of the leaders in Ashanti region, come to meetings but not the commission meetings.”

“It was a huge disaster, so I thought it will not be entertained,” he said and added that the petitioner had no personal knowledge but sought to rely on other witnesses to provide the evidence and prove his case.

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Judging from that, Mr Baako concluded that proved that “this whole thing was a conspiracy, that’s how it began. Among the members of the commission, four members of the commission, Paulina [Adobea] Dadzewa…Georgina Amankwaa and Amadu Sulley, they plotted it. But interestingly, the hole was too big, in entering they dragged Charlotte along, that’s the way I see it.

Harsh recommendation

He therefore said the recommendation to remove Charlotte Osei was too harsh.

Mrs Osei was found guilty of breaching procurement processes in the award of a contract to Dream Oval and engaging the legal service of the law firm Sory@Law.

Mr Baako said he does not believe that a breach of the Procurement Act, as concluded by the committee, warrants the removal of Mrs Osei from office.

“As far as I am concerned, I don’t think, seriously speaking there was a violation of the Public Procurement law. I think there has been a strict interpretation of the public procurement law, a very harsh [one],” he said.

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