Akufo-Addo never approached Prof Mensah Bonsu for EC job - Jinapor

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Samuel Abu Jinapor is a deputy Chief of Staff
Samuel Abu Jinapor is a deputy Chief of Staff

Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, a deputy Chief of Staff, has explained that President Akufo-Addo never considered or approached Professor Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, to take up the job of the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) as speculated.

Clarifying, Mr Jinapor said Mrs Jean Mensa from day one was President Akufo-Addo’s choice as the replacement for Mrs Charlotte Osei, who was removed on grounds of incompetence and stated misbehavior.

“Some individuals have sought to make the claim or the suggestion that President Akufo-Addo did approach Professor Henrietta Mensah Bonsu to serve as the chairperson of the Electoral Commission," Mr Jinapor said via telephone interview whilst contributing to discussions on Joy FM's news analysis programme, Newsfile on Saturday.

The deputy Chief of Staff said the suggestion that "Prof Mensah Bonsu rejected the offer, on the grounds that the processes leading to the nomination of our Electoral Commission chairperson is tainted with fraud, and that this is why we settled on Mrs Jean Mensa as the second choice," is also not true.

“Let me state Sampson [host of newsfile], that I have been very much involved in the processes, deliberations, consultations and all that to get us to the point of nomination of Madam Jean Mensa. Prof Henrietta Mensah Bonsu I can state on authority that, never, and I repeat never has been approached by the President [Akufo-Addo] or any member of government as regards the possible nomination as chairperson of the Electoral Commission.”

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Infact it never even came up, her name never even popped up. The President from the very get go had been very settled on Mrs Jean Mensa, she’s been his first choice, she’s second choice and third choice. There’s never been any instance where Prof Henrietta Mensah Bonsu’s name ever came up,” Jinapor added.

Mr Jinapor continued, “Prof Mensah Bonsu is somebody I know quite well, my lecturer at the Faculty [of Law, University of Ghana] and also at the Graduate School, and she really is somebody who is a very competent woman of enormous integrity and indeed, Akufo-Addo did nominate her to be appointed as a judge of the International Criminal Court, because she is a woman of astute qualities and competence and integrity but the fact remains that she was never considered, she was never approached and her name never came."

Asked if she was above the job, Abu Jinapor said, “well, we never contemplated it, it was never discussed.”

Did Akufo-Addo do broad consultation?

Asked if he thinks some of his pronouncements in giving the clarity in the matter lend themselves to a question about the claim that President Akufo-Addo did broad consultations, whether indeed that happened when he had admitted that the President day one had settled on Jean Mensa.

In responding Jinapor said: “the President engaged in broad, quite consultation in respect of what his thinking was and a view that others would have about his thinking or the direction that he intended to go, and that was the consultation."

He reiterated that for instance former chair of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan and many other people were consulted.

Council of State response

Mr Jinapor confirmed that the Presidency has received a response from the Council of State on the nominations but said he cannot go into details as of now.

"We have received communication from the Council of State," he said.

The claim about Prof Mensah Bonsu being approached and declining had been published by some media houses with the explanation that she had a problem with the manner Mrs Charlotte Osei was removed.

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