AFAG asks President to use executive power to suspend EC boss

Pro-government pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), has urged President Akufo-Addo to use his executive powers to suspend the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Madam Charlotte Osei after allegations of malfeasance has been leveled against her.

According to the group, the continuous stay of Madam Osei in office while investigations were ongoing to establish the truth or otherwise of the allegations had the tendency to undermine the final outcome.

Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday, the Vice Chairman of the group, Henry Haruna Asante insisted that “clearing the dented image” of the EC was critical to consolidating the country’s democracy and was imperative that all persons fingered in the allegations were sidelined for the truth to prevail.

Citing previous instances including the suspension of the former Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mrs. Lauretta Lamptey on similar grounds, Mr. Asante wondered “why President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has failed to ask the EC boss and her two deputies to step aside from the Commission”.

“AFAG has long expected the President to act and we urge him now to do so within his executive powers to spare the Commission from further damaging its credibility,” he stressed.

Buttressing the group’s point on why the EC boss should be stripped off her office and its privileges while under investigations, the Vice Chair said, “while in office, she still have access to documents and information which could be tampered when needed as evidence against her”.

“The presence of Mrs. Charlotte Osei intimidates witnesses who are still workers of the Commission and can stampede their availability to during fair trial,” he added.

Mr. Asante further believed that the EC had helped sustain the peace and stability of the country over the years and “it is appropriate that we do not create room for citizens to have clouds in our minds about their non-alignment and impartiality”.

The EC came under public scrutiny last year after the Chief Justice established a prima facie case against its Chairperson following allegations of corruption and abuse of office leveled against her by some workers of the Commission.

Although there have been several petitions to the President to suspend Mrs. Osei for a smooth investigations into the claims, it was yet to the see the light of the day.

Meanwhile, the Economic Organised Crime Office (EOCO), has been investigating Deputy Commissioner, Georgina Opoku Amankwaah and Chief Accountant Kwaku Owusu Agyei-Larbi over the loss of about GH¢480,000 from the Endowment Fund of the EC.

By Abigail Annoh       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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