Jean Mensa’s nomination as EC Chair could suffer legal hurdles–Kpebu … Govt fights opposition of Jean Mensa’s nomination

 Mr Jinapor

Mr Jinapor

The nomination of the new Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, Jean Mensa, could suffer legal hurdles if the Attorney-General (A-G) has already been served with an injunction against the process, legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu has stated.

On July 18, a Ghanaian citizen, Fafali Nyonantor filed a fresh application praying the Supreme Court to restrain President Nana Akufo-Addo from appointing a new Chairperson for the EC, pending the determination of her substantive case against the removal.

Mr. Kpebu said all parties would have to “stay their hand” until the court determines the case, only if the A-G was served with the injunction.

“The dominant principle is that when the attention of the person you want to injunct is served, the processes should be put on hold until the court makes a determination.

“Generally when an application for an injunction is pending before a court of law, the parties are restrained even though the court has not yet given an order.

“If only the injunction motion has been served then the parties have to hold their hands until the court decides.

“In this case, I do not know, but if there is evidence that the A-G has been served, then legally, it is not the right thing to do,” Mr Kpebu noted.

The nomination of the four officials was announced in a statement from the Presidency on Monday, July 23, 2018.

Other persons nominated for appointment by President Akufo-Addo to the Commission include Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chairperson, Dr. Eric Asare Bossman, Deputy Chairperson and Adwoa Asuama Abrefa, member of the Commission.

The statement, signed by the Chief of Staff, Frema Opare-Osei said President Akufo-Addo, “sought the advice of the Council of State in accordance with Article 70(2) of the Constitution, for the appointment of a new chairperson, two deputy chairpersons and a member of the Electoral Commission (EC).

“President Akufo-Addo is hopeful that the Council of State will discharge its constitutional duty expeditiously, to enable him to make these critical appointments to this very important institution of state,” the statement added.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed dissatisfaction with the nomination, saying the President has abused his discretionary powers.

President Akufo-Addo on June 28, 2018, removed the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwa from office upon the recommendation of a committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo to investigate separate complaints brought by some Ghanaian citizens.

Charlotte Osei was accused of various procurement breaches, while the deputies were also found guilty of same offenses.

Although government spokespersons have justified the move, some members of the opposition have challenged it, saying Mrs Osei, who was appointed by then-President John Mahama, was only hounded out to enable the New Patriotic Party (NPP) rig the election in 2020.

Deputy Chief of Staff Abu Jinapor has talked up the nominee, Mrs Mensa, who is the Executive Director of public policy think-tank Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), insisting she ticks the boxes of a “strong, fair and independent-minded character of integrity that stands tall”.
But Mr Jinapor said a partisan boycott of IEA is insufficient reason to pooh-pooh on the nomination of the President since the NPP had also had cause to boycott IEA accusing it of bias as the NDC presently does. –

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