CJ SUED TO STOP IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATIONS AGAINST EC BOSS

CJ sued to stop impeachment investigations against EC boss

Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah
Date: 7th-august-2017 Time:  9:45:49 am

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A legal practitioner has sued the Chief Justice, seeking an order of the court to stop her from proceeding with investigations and possible impeachment of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.

Ayamga Yakubu Akolgo is convinced the petition against EC chair Charlotte Osei is legally flawed and a breach of the constitution.

At best, the petitioner insists the 27-point petition by aggrieved workers of the Electoral Commission which has been forwarded to the Chief Justice could pass for investigation by any of the statutory investigative bodies but cannot be subject to a request for impeachment.

In a writ filed at the Supreme Court, a copy of which has been intercepted by Myjoyonline.com, Yakubu Akolgo holds that the prima facie investigations currently being conducted by the Chief Justice may be prejudicial to a concurrent investigation being conducted by the Economic Office and Organised Crime (EOCO).

He averred the court is “duty bound to preemptively intervene to protect the independence of the Electoral Commission and to maintain the Commission as the foundation of our democracy, good governance and multiparty democracy.”

The writ is a new twist to a never-ending drama at the Electoral Commission which has seen tons of petitions forwarded to the president for onward submission to the Chief Justice in which impeachment requests have been made against the EC chair and her two deputies.

Mrs Charlotte Osei

Drama at Commission

First it was Maxwell Opoku Agyemang, who triggered the controversial drama with his 27 point petition against the Electoral Commission boss Charlotte Osei.

The petition was laden with allegations of fraud, incompetence, misconduct and poor human relations.

Even though the names behind the petition are unknown to the public, the lawyer insisted the petitioners have been identified by the president.

The EC chair in a rebuttal denied the allegations against her but made fresh allegations against her two deputies, Sulley Amadu and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa.

She also filed a defamation suit against the lawyer for petitioners who are seeking her impeachment from office.

In a contest of feisty rebuttals the two deputy Chairpersons at the Commission fired their own allegations against the EC Chair.

In the midst of their rebuttals another lawyer sent a new petition to the president demanding the impeachment of the two other deputies at the Commission for stated misconducted.

The whole drama at the Commission was crowned with a spectacle at the floor of Parliament when the EC Chair in the company of one her deputies, Amadu Sulley told MPs she was speaking for herself as the EC chair and not as the Commission.

She was answering a question on why the Commission failed to include their internally generated funds for last year in their financial report. 

Just when the dust was about settling, and the prima facie determination made by the Chief Justice against all three Chairpersons, a new petition has been filed against the Chief Justice.

Lawyer Yakubu Akolgo maintains Article 146 (2) which spells out how Judges of the Superior Court will be removed is not applicable to the removal of the Chief Justice.

Even though the salary levels of the Appeals Court Judge is coterminous to that of heads of Commissions and the removal processes of the two offices have been deemed to be similar, Akolgo is insisting the processes of removing a judge cannot be used to remove the Chair of the Electoral Commission.

“That Article 146(2) of the 1992 Constitution is neither mandatory nor appropriately suitable for the removal of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and the said Article not derogated or contravened if a full bench of the Supreme Court assumes duty to inquire into the petition to dispose-off it or otherwise.”

Among other reliefs, Lawyer Yakubu Akolgo is praying the Supreme Court to restrain the Chief Justice from proceeding with the prima facie determination.

He would rather the Chief Justice empanels a full bench of the Supreme Court to inquire into the petition brought against the Chair of the Commission.

 

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