Faceless ‘Concerned’ EC Staff’s Lawyer Cornered

…Told To reveal cowards or face prosecution

Maxwell Opoku Agyeman, the legal practitioner who is fronting for the impeachment of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, with a 17-point petition appears to have entangled himself in a foolhardy quandary.

Lawyer Opoku Agyeman’s representation of anonymous workers of the Electoral Commission in the bid to remove the EC Chairperson has led to question about his legal education.

Sources point out the fact that natural justice demands that when an accusation is leveled against a person, the accused person is given the opportunity to confront the accuser.

However, in the petition to the President, couched on the letterhead of the lawyer’s law firm, which alleged misbehavior on the part of the EC Chair, including cronyism, corruption and incompetence, the learned lawyer did not reveal who the accusers are.

Now Mrs. Charlotte Osei’s lawyers have responded to the seeming idiotic ploy and notice has been served to Lawyer Opoku Agyeman to either reveal the perceived cowards behind the suit or dance to prosecution alone.

The Gazette has also heard about the lawyers of the EC Commissioner intending to petition the General Legal Council to revoke the license of Lawyer Opoku Agyeman if he does not produce the names of the faceless people behind the slanderous libel.

“Having observed from your letter by virtue of which the petition to the President conveyed; that your client is an amorphous group of people described as “concerned staff of the electoral commission,” our client has instructed us to demand from you, and we hereby so demand the full list of these “concerned staff of the electoral commission” to enable us commence legal action against them for the defamatory statement contained in their petition failure which our client will be constrained to proceed against you alone as defendant in the suit our client intends to commence against them since you are, to all intents and purpose, their agent,” the lawyers of the EC boss have written.

“Our client’s decision to seek remedy in court for the protection of her reputation is without prejudice to Article 106 proceeding triggered by you.”

It remains to be seen what Lawyer Maxwell Opoku Agyeman will do – whether he will at last unmask the shadowy people who are supposed to have called the EC boss who withstood serious nerve-wracking pressure to successfully deliver the 2016 election, incompetent, or he will risk his career for what is seen as an idiotic cause.

Meanwhile, former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in the predecessor Mahama administration, Murtala Mohammed, has said that the petition against the EC Chair is a proxy attack from the Flagstaff House.

Yesterday, Mr. Mohammed told Accra-based Radio Gold, the lawyer and the faceless EC workers who have petitioned the Flagstaff House are only going through the motions that the ruling NPP has started and that those doing the hatchet job are only being remote-controlled by the Akufo-Addo government to test the waters.

According to him, the petition is a test of the pulse of the public to gauge whether an attempt to remove the EC Chairperson, whose appointment the NPP had vehemently resisted, would be tolerated by the public.

He pointed out that the ballyhoo over Mrs. Osei’s job has all the markings of the NPP’s stock in trade – including the fact that the filing of the petition has since received massive banner publication by opposition media houses.

So far, the public has bared its teeth at the suspected tampering with the EC Chairperson’s position by a government that has had its public rating plummet rapidly after just six months in office.

The petition to impeach the EC boss dovetails longstanding overt actions by the government to get the Representation of the People’s Amendment Law (ROPAL) implemented for the 2020 elections.

ROPAL requires the EC to extend voting to countries outside Ghana. However, a decade after its passage in 2007, the EC has not been able to implement it because of logistical and what is seen as commonsensical impracticalities.

Mrs. Osei’s predecessor, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, could not implement ROPAL because even holding elections within the boundaries of Ghana alone is challenging, without the additional burden of going to mount polling stations in other countries for Diaspora Ghanaians to vote.

Somehow, however, President Akufo-Addo and the NPP want to force Mrs. Charlotte Osei to implement it.

A couple of weeks back, the President said in Togo that ROPAL has been on the books for some 10 years and he did not understand why the EC was not implementing it, even though the EC has long made it clear that its implementation is prohibitive.

For some reason, the NPP seems to believe that the generality of Ghanaians in the Diaspora are pro-NPP and therefore wants to ensure that the vote is extended there at all cost.

President Akufo-Addo has, without the slightest compunction, publicly called for pressure to be mounted on the EC to implement it in the 2020 elections.

But many observers question why the country should spend scanty resources to mount voting booths in foreign countries to enable Ghanaians there to vote when the logical expectation is that if any Ghanaian in the Diaspora really sees it fit to be a part of the electoral process he or she can just fly back home and vote.

The moves to get ROPAL implemented is seen by many as just a ploy by the NPP to create fertile opportunity to rig subsequent elections, using ROPAL as one of the conduits.

In the 2016 elections, the EC’s electronic data base had been hacked into.

The ruling party’s Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Ken Agyapong, has since revealed that the NPP did not genuinely win the 2016 elections.

Mrs. Osei, who showed unrelenting tenacity during the 2016 elections, is believed to be perceived as an obstacle in the NPP’s attempt to force the implementation of ROPAL, hence the move to use every dirty trick in the book to remove her.

It is while all these issues are at play that lawyer Maxwell Opoku Agyeman, wrote the 17 allegations on his letterheads, supposedly on behalf of “concerned workers” at the EC, and presented it to the President as basis for demanding the impeachment of the EC Chairperson.

Among others, the petition alleged that the Commissioner had engaged in corrupt practices, including vandalism of procurement laws, to award contracts. Mrs. Charlotte Osei was also painted in the same petition as an incompetent person.

The Flagstaff House has since confirmed receipt of the petition.

 

 

Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Stan Adotey

The Republic News Online

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