Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday July 18, 2018
Barring any hitches, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would nominate a new chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) to replace the sacked Charlotte Osei.
Rumour mills are agog with speculations as to who would take over from Mrs Osei.
The President’s nomination is likely to be later in the week.
He would also nominate two deputies to replace Amadu Sulley in-charge of Operations and Georgina Opoku-Amakwah, in-charge of Corporate Services.
The three were removed recently from office by the President on grounds of stated misbehaviour and incompetence as recommended by a five-member committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate the affected EC chieftains.
There have been wild speculations on who is likely to be nominated as the next EC chairperson, and yesterday social media was inundated with a supposed report that Justice Sophia Ophelia Adjeibea Adinyira of the Supreme Court had been selected for the post.
However, DAILY GUIDE’s sources said the report was not accurate because the judge, who also sat on the election petition case, is on the verge of retiring, having been appointed in 2006 by former President John Kufuor.
Although the presidency is keeping the name of the next EC boss under wraps, there have been speculations that three renowned academics and woman would likely be nominated by the president.
The names mentioned are Prof. Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu, 61, a member of the United Nations Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the Director of Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) at the University of Ghana, Legon; Prof. Emmanuel Gyimah Boadi, immediate-past Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), as well as Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG).
Prof Mensa-Bonsu and Prof Gyimah-Boadi are both lawyers teaching at the University of Ghana.
The LECIAD Director was said to have been nominated for the Supreme Court by the Judicial Council but was rejected by the previous Mahama administration.
She was also gunning to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) but failed to sail through.
Ahead of the anticipated announcement, a Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, reportedly said on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme last night that the President does not have any legal impediments in the selection of a new EC Boss.
Kweku Baako is already in court challenging the removal of Charlotte Osei from office, a decision which appears to be fait accompli.
“My view is that in the absence of any legal impediments, yes, he (President Akufo-Addo) would want to do it (appoint new EC chair), and I’m sure he will do it very soon. In the next few days,” he told the host Paul Adom-Otchere, who sought his opinion on the matter.
“I do not see any constraint or whatsoever, and the Supreme Court of Ghana has had ample opportunity to pronounce on what a public officer or authority can do in such circumstance. And one fundamental principle is that the courts are slow to restrain the exercise of a constitutional power. So in principle, the courts of Ghana will encourage the exercise of a constitutional power. And I think in this situation there is imperative for the exercise of such a constitutional power,” he explained.
Mr. Dame said it was imperative for the president to fast-track the process in order not to bring the work of the EC to a halt over the absence of a chairperson.
“We have an Electoral Commission, which has various functions to perform as to the number of elections to prepare for. Conduct of an election is not an event, it’s a process that commences with a lot of indoor measures and mechanisms put in place by the EC, before they actually engage in the process of voter registration, among others.
“I think in the interest of the nation and the interest of ensuring that there is no unnecessary hiccup or hold back to the operations of the EC, and to the extent that there is no legal impediment in his way from appointing a new chairperson of the electoral commission, yes, the president can go ahead and appoint a chairperson of the Electoral Commission, together with two deputy chairpersons,” he added.