Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday February 22, 2018
The embattled Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, has been accused of running a ‘one-man’ show - failing to carry along other commissioners.
The EC boss is said to have refused to hold meetings with other six commissioners to discuss the way forward for the independent electoral body.
According to information available to DAILY GUIDE, the commissioners have not held a single meeting for about a year in clear breach of the EC Act 1993; and activities at the state institution appear to have been put on hold currently.
DAILY GUIDE understands that it is the duty of Mrs Charlotte Osei to convene meetings to deliberate on the activities of the commission, but she had allegedly refused to do so, leaving her colleague commissioners very frustrated.
As a result, one of the commissioners, Ebenezer Aggrey-Fynn, has written a strongly-worded memo to the chairperson, asking her to arrange a meeting with immediate effect to enable the commission to carry out its functions.
He gave the EC boss a one-week ultimatum, failure of which he said he was going to use every legal avenue to get the matter settled.
The memo - a copy of which is in possession of DAILY GUIDE - was written on February 16, 2018 and was copied to Mrs Osei and her deputies in-charge of Operations and Corporate Services, as well as other members of the commission.
The memo is suggesting that Mrs. Charlotte Osei is running the commission as a sole commissioner, contrary to the 1992 Constitution.
According to Mr Aggrey-Fynn, a similar letter he sent to Mrs. Charlotte Osei on August 21, last year to enquire about the reasons for the failure to hold commission meetings fell on deaf ears.
“My memo dated 21st August, 2017 on the above subject refers. Regrettably, I am yet to receive an acknowledgement of it nor seen any action on the content,” frustrated Mr. Aggrey-Fynn said.
He drew the attention of the chairperson to Section 6 (1) (Act 451) - The Electoral Commission Act 1993 - which states that “The Commission shall meet at least once every two months.”
He said the EC boss should know that “the members of the commission are held jointly and severally for the actions and inactions of the commission.”
The worried commission member said, “It is sad to note that you (Mrs. Charlotte Osei) have positioned yourself in a manner that suggests that you are a Sole Commissioner, contrary to the 1992 Constitution.”
“I am by this memo demanding that you call a commission meeting immediately to enable the commission to carry out its functions,” he declared.
He indicated, “Failure to hear from you by 23rd February, 2018 on my request, will leave me with no option than to explore other options of compelling you to do so to enable me perform my constitutional mandate as a member of the commission.”
The public uproar that ensued following a series of petitions and counter-petitions filed against Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her deputies - Alhaji Amadu Sule (Operations) and Mrs Georgina Opoku-Amankwaa (Corporate Service) - gave an indication that all is not well among the commissioners.
It is public knowledge that some of the commissioners, including Mrs. Charlotte Osei, are not on talking terms and it was evident when she led the EC team to face a parliamentary committee last year.
Some of the commissioners are also reportedly required to fill the visitor’s form anytime they want to see Mrs. Charlotte Osei.
Chief Justice Committee
Currently, a five-member committee presided over by Justice A.A. Benin of the Supreme Court is investigating the EC chair and her two deputies as prescribed under Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution.
The whole action was triggered by a petition sent to the presidency by Lawyer Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang who was acting on behalf of some unnamed staff of the commission who were seeking to trigger impeachment proceedings against Mrs. Charlotte Osei.
A litany of allegations were leveled against Mrs. Osei, including spending GH¢3.9 million to partition an office, receipt of a bulletproof Toyota Land Cruiser from the previous government, spending about $14 million for district offices when the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) had authorized her to use only $7.5 million, as well as attending Cabinet meetings under President John Mahama’s administration, among others.
In the ensuing heat, Emmanuel Senyo, a non-EC staff, filed a counter petition to the president against the two deputy commissioners - Amadu Sulley and Mrs. Opoku-Amankwa.
DAILY GUIDE understands that Mr. Senyo relates James Kofi Afedo, the Communication Consultant working with the EC.
Kofi Afedo, a known member of ‘Movement for Mahama’- a partisan group - was hired by Mrs. Charlotte Osei and allegedly paid him thousands of dollars.