EC Deputy C’ssioner, EOCO in stand-off

Madam Georgina Opoku Amankwah

Madam Georgina Opoku Amankwah

The headquarters of the Electoral Commission (EC) in Accra was thrown into chaos yesterday following a stand-off between the Deputy Commissioner in-charge of Corporate Services, Madam Georgina Opoku Amankwah and personnel of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

Led by its Executive Director, Mr K. K Amoah, the personnel together with about five armed police personnel sought to prevent the Deputy Commissioner from working in her office.

Madam Amankwah had defied a directed by the EOCO to stay away from her office since last year July, to allow for probe into the allegations levelled against her and other colleagues.

But after staying at home for more than six months, she decided to visit the office yesterday to assume her role arguing that the EOCO was not in a position to order her to keep away from her office.

Two operatives of the EOCO, who earlier went to prevent her from using the office failed and had to call in reinforcement including Mr Amoah and some armed police personnel to forcibly remove her.

Speaking to journalists in the heat of the stand-off, Madam Amankwah explained that she earlier complied with the EOCO directive because she was made to believe the investigations would run for some few weeks.

She stated that the actions of EOCO was an attempt to remove her from her position illegally, saying, she would continue to defy the EOCO as she was now being singled out for intimidation.

The Deputy Commissioner, however, was quick to add that she would willingly proceed on leave or stay out of the office if the President, who was the appointing authority, orders her to.

“I returned to work today because the action of EOCO is illegal and I cannot support it. Again, the actions are intended to intimidate me but I’m not ready to give in. I will come to work at the stipulated hour and leave for home at 5pm. Until the President writes to me indicating that I proceed on leave, I will continue to work,” she added.

Despite her posture, the EOCO personnel and armed police personnel did not forcefully evacuate her from the office.

However, after several consultations with her lawyer and her colleague, Amadu Sulley, Deputy Commissioner in-charge of operations, as well as the EOCO Executive Director, Madam Amankwah gave the EOCO 14 days to bring finality to the matter.

The Commission was thrown into turmoil last July after some unnamed staff petitioned the President to trigger impeachment processes against the Electoral Commissioner, Madam Charlotte Osei for engaging in some corrupt practices.

 

A second petition from a private citizen Douglas Seidu followed on August 18 and and President Akufo-Addo referred it to the Chief Justice on August 29.

The grounds outlined in the petition include financial misconduct, incompetence, conflict of interest, breaches of the public procurement processes, amongst others

 

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has begun investigating some officials of the Electoral Commission including Madam Amankwah over the loss of GH¢480,000 from the Commission’s Endowment Fund.

 

In a letter written to Madam Osei, dated July 4, 2017 Mr. K. K Amoah said ‘the suspects are assisting in investigations’.

 

The letter further stated that the officers in question should be made to proceed on leave, while investigations proceed.

 

By Claude Nyarko Adams

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