A private citizen has dragged the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, to the Supreme Court over the removal of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, from office.
Fafali Nyonator wants the apex court to declare that the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, breached the Constitution and exceeded the limits of her powers by defining the scope of a committee of enquiry that probed a petition for the removal of Mrs. Osei.
The plaintiff also wants an order of perpetual injunction restraining President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo from appointing Mr Osei’s replacement until that position has become lawfully vacant “in accordance with proper processes as by law established.”
The EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Amankwah, were removed from office following findings of a Committee set up by the Chief Justice to probe petitions of corruption and abuse of office.
The former EC Chair, among other things, was found culpable of breaching procurement laws in the award of a contract to Dream Oval and engaging the legal services of law firm Sory@ Law.
However, the removal has since become a source of heated controversy, with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) serving notice of intent to protest the President’s decision.
Some in the NDC have said the removal is a ploy by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to prepare the grounds to rig the 2020 election.
President Akufo-Addo who has come under severe criticism for making the ignoble history of being the first President in the 4th Republic to sack an EC boss has claimed that he had no choice but to effect the dismissal simply because the committee he set up had recommended it.
Sceptics point out that the committee only recommended and that the decision to remove the EC Chairperson or not ultimately lay with him.
The grounds for the removal have also been discredited as insufficient by many who do not believe that procurement breaches are serious enough to remove an EC commissioner over.
Mrs Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, were removed from office in accordance with the recommendations of the Chief Justice’s committee which probed numerous allegations levelled against them.
Excerpts from the 54-page document which has been leaked to the media noted: “In all, the Chief Justice made a prima facie case against the Chairperson on six of the allegations contained in the said petition.”
According to a government statement issued Thursday and signed by Information Minister, Dr. Mustapha Hamid, the three top officials of the country’s elections management body have been removed for misbehaviour and incompetence.