A group calling itself concerned workers of the Electoral Commission (EC) have petitioned the President and the Chief Justice to begin impeachment processes against the Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei.
In a six-page petition dated Thursday, July 13, 2017 and signed by their counsel, Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, the group accused the EC Boss of misconduct, citing breaches of some provisions of the 1992 Constitution as well as the Public Procurement Act 663.
Constitutional provision on removal of EC boss
Article 44 (2)(3) of the 1992 Constitution states that the Chairperson of the EC shall have the same terms and conditions of service as a Justice of the Court of Appeal.
Per that, the Chairperson of EC cannot be removed from office except for “stated misbehaviour or incompetence or on grounds of inability to perform the functions of his/her office arising from infirmity of body or mind”.
Article 151(1) also states, “A persons holding a judicial office may be removed from office by the Chief Justice on the grounds only of stated misbehaviour, incompetence or inability to perform his/her functions arising from infirmity of body or mind and upon a resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all members of the Judicial Council”.
The group in its petition accused Mrs Osei of taking unilateral decisions without recourse to the appropriate departments, even her deputies.
The group also accused the EC Chair of engaging in fraudulent activities, citing her decision to cancel a contract awarded to Superlock Technologies Limited (STL) to supply and manage Biometric Voter Registration machines (BVRs) and the Biometric Voter Devices (BVDs), as well as her directive for the payment of $76,000 to IT firm, Dream Oval.
She is also accused of engaging in cronyism in the award of some contracts.
“One of the contractors by name Messrs Contracts & Cads Limited is related to Mrs. Charlotte Osei. Upon receipt of advance mobilization under the approval of the Chairperson, the company has failed to meet the contract terms,” the statement said.
“The chairperson has constituted herself into the Commission’s Tender Review Commission contrary to the Public Procurement Act. She singularly chairs the Entity Tender Committee and the Tender Review Committee at the same time. This puts her into conflict of interest position and this is a clear breach of the public procurement act,” it added.
According to the group, “The Chairperson has submitted an estimated GHS1million for the renovation of the official bungalow for the chairperson without recourse to the commission or appropriate staff of the commission.”
The group also raised concerns over Mrs Osei’s managerial and human relation skills.
According to them, the EC Chair since assumption of office has “refused” to visit any of the regional or district office of the Commission.
“She has lost popularity, legitimacy and touch with the staff and some members of the commission. She has failed to manage the commission as a corporate entity. She has poor human relations not befitting of any leader in public space,” the statement said.
According to the group, “but for the action of technical and competent staff of the Commission”, Mrs Osei’s posture prior to the conduct of the 2016 General Elections “would have plunged this country into civil war.”