The Coalition for Social Justice has described the processes followed in the dismissal of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Charlotte Osei, as unlawful.
It described the decision as “legally bankrupt, harsh, fraudulent and politically motivated” because its foundation, the petition, was weak and illegal and, therefore, called for an immediate reversal of that illegitimate decision
At a press conference in Accra last Tuesday, the Convener of the coalition, Sammy Gyamfi, called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to rescind his decision with immediate effect or face the wrath of the coalition.
The press conference was on the theme, “The removal of the EC boss: a travesty of justice, an attack on our democracy and a recipe for chaos".
He said a critical consideration of the whole process and previous actions and utterances by some leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had established a deliberate and calculated attempt by the President and his party to remove her at all cost.
Mr Gyamfi said the decision threatened the independence and neutrality of the EC and had the potential of eroding the gains of a multi-party democracy built over a 26-year period and, therefore, the coalition would use every legal means, nationally and internationally to see a reversal of the decision.
Why processes and decision unlawful
Mr Gyamfi said checks by the coalition indicated that it did not fit into the definition of a petition for such purposes by the Supreme Court.
“From the outset, it was clear that the alleged petition which was forwarded to the President was incompetent and legally unrecognisable. This is because it was undated, unsigned and fell short of the constitutional requirements of a petition as established by the Supreme Court in the Agyei Twum case,” he said
He said the petition was void at birth because of the patent defects and should have been disallowed by the President.
He accused the President of seeking to remedy the situation by providing unsolicited advice to the counsel for the unknown petitioners to provide the missing characteristics of the petition, including date, signatures and names of the petitioners.
“However, this attempt proved futile as counsel for the faceless petitioners failed to provide the signatures of the supposed petition in his belated letter dated July 20, 2017 in which he provided some names,” he said.
Mr Gyamfi said till date, the said petition had no signatories and one of the petitioners was deceased at the time the petition was filed.
Breach of PPA ACT
Mr Gyamfi said the coalition held that the President’s decision was harsh because all the findings of the committee against Ms Osei were not directly related to the pursuit of her core mandate but rather related to a breach of the Public Procurement Act.