Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday August 07, 2018
Information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates that the sacked chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) Charlotte Osei is allegedly refusing to return her official vehicle to the commission.
Mrs. Osei was removed from office by President Akufo-Addo in June following a recommendation by a five-member committee set up by the Chief Justice.
However, she is reportedly keeping the customized Toyota Land Cruiser V8 car that was officially assigned to her.
According to sources, the former EC boss is said to be holding on to the vehicle because she reportedly insisted that it was a personal donation from the previous Mahama-led NDC administration, for which reason she is entitled to use it.
Investigation shows that the sacked EC chairperson has returned a custom-made Audi car after getting snippets that the new commissioners could compel her to return the commission’s property in her custody.
The luxurious Audi car was reportedly moved to the commission’s premises last Thursday.
Interestingly, it turned out that the expensive V8, which she has refused to return, was registered as part of the pool of national security with two different number plates during the tenure of Mr. Mahama and could be a state property.
It was one of the allegations in the petition submitted to the Chief Justice for her removal from office.
According to EC sources, the demand for the return of the vehicle was made after the EC had spent money to maintain it even though it was not registered in its name.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that immediately she was booted out of office, the CCTV installations in her office, which kept 24-hour surveillance, were all dismantled.
The 17 EC staff, who petitioned the President for her removal from office under Article 46 of the 1992 Constitution, accused her of compromising her independence as a commissioner by receiving the V8.
They claimed in the petition that following her appointment as EC chair, Ms Osei “compromised the independence and neutrality of the Commission by arranging for 2015 V8 Land Cruiser with registration WR 2291-15 from the Office of the President for use as official vehicle without going through the procurement process or recourse to the commission.”
In her response to the allegation, she said the vehicle was given to him by the government as a duty post vehicle and therefore couldn’t have compromised her.
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that the EC will officially write to her to return the vehicle otherwise a case of theft would be lodged against her.
However, the Chief Justice, per the Constitution, did not establish a prima facie case against the EC boss on the vehicle issue and therefore the committee did not investigate the matter.
In the end, the Chief Justice’s Committee, chaired by Justice A.A. Benin of the Supreme Court, captured serious breaches of procurement laws which led to their removal from office on grounds of “stated misbehaviour and incompetence.”
There were six allegations against Charlotte Osei filed by some 17 staff of the EC, and four each against Amadu Sulley in charge of Operations and Georgina Opoku Amankwa in charge of Corporate Services.
Some critics have argued that the acceptance of a gift from then sitting president, who was also a candidate in the crucial 2016 election, was clear evidence that the sacked EC boss was surreptitiously dealing with the then ruling NDC without the knowledge of all the other parties and stakeholders in the country.