…Over Raging EC Commissioners Row Saga
Legal luminary and member of the NDC legal team, Mr. David Annan, has cautioned the government to be extremely careful in its handling of the current dispute between the Electoral Commission’s (EC) management team since it has the potential of disrupting the country’s outstanding democratic credentials.
According to him, the ruling NPP and other state institutions in charge of the ongoing impasse should be very careful the way they want to proceed with the case.
“And all this brouhaha about allegations of malfeasance and counter accusations are all administrative disputes and doesn’t need the writing of any petition, taking the matter to EOCO for me is over-reaction. And they should be very careful the way they want to proceed on this matter because it can explode. If the NDC right now decides to make the country ungovernable,” he stated.
Speaking during an interview in Accra, Lawyer David Annan warned of an impending danger should the Akufo-Addo government act upon recommendations made by a committee yet to be set up the Chief Justice to investigate the petition tabled before the President by some faceless members of the Electoral Commission and remove the three commissioners of the EC, which will also then give the NPP an opportunity to appoint their own people to occupy to serve as commissioners, including the head.
“You see, there is a danger, and the danger is that when those three commissioners are fired then this present government will be appointing three commissioners, including the head, a situation that has not happened before in this country. Normally, the commissioners are seven, so some will have to go for other government also to appoint new ones into their fold. If you will notice, always among the seven commissioners you will have some appointed by the NDC and the NPP, as well. If this thing is acted upon, if care is not taken every government that assumes the rein of power will also use petition to cunningly remove the commissioner from post at the EC and then appoint their own person and that would happen,” he said.
Mr. Annan further recalled earlier petitions brought against former Chief Justice Georgina Wood by retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Francis Y. Kpegah, during the tenures of late President John Evans Atta Mills and former President John Dramani Mahama of which both NDC presidents turned blind eyes on and also had the then NPP in opposition vehemently opposing investigations into the petition.
He then asked the current administration to desist from setting a precedent where the appointment to some key constitutional offices within the public service is determined and made by incumbent government and rather work assiduously to find an amicable solution to the tensions that the dispute is generating.
“But, I will say that the government should keep the current EC team intact, no matter what the issue and mediate to ensure an amicable settlement,” he added.
The EC has been caught in a web of complex controversies that started after some faceless staff of the Commission petitioned the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, to impeach the Commissioner, Charlotte Osei, for awarding a GH¢3.9 million to a private company without duly consulting other members of the commission, among other allegations.
Charlotte Osei in a comprehensive response to the allegations said they were unsubstantiated.
She accused the Deputy Commissioner in-charge of Operations at the EC, Amadu Sulley, of undertaking many illegal acts, including diverting funds meant for the Commission and illegally transferring votes.