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Charlotte Osei not above the law – Mustapha Hamid

Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid says former chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei is not immune to the dictate of the national constitution.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Friday, the information minister said the president’s decision to sack Madam Charlotte Osei and her two deputies conformed with Article 146 (1) of the Constitution.

“The provisions of Article 146 (9) of the Constitution require the President of the Republic to act in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee,” the minister added.

Continuing, he said the argument by the opposition National Democratic Congress that Charlotte Osei’s sacking was politically motivated is flawed and absurd.

“The decision is not politically motivated. The President respected the constitution and followed due process in this regard. The debate that it was for political reasons is awkward.

“Those (referring to the NDC) who called you to a press conference last night that they were going to demonstrate should know that nobody is above the law.

“Charlotte violated the Public Procurement Act, and the Public Financial Management Act. She is not above the law or immune from the dictate of the constitution,” he argued.

Background

Back in December 2017, the EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei and her two Deputies, Amadu Sulley (in charge of Operations) and Georgina Amankwa (in charge of Corporate Services) met with the Chief Justice over a petition filed against EC.

A five-member committee was subsequently set up by the Chief Justice to investigate the alleged corruption.
Some staff of the EC petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo in July 2017, to remove Mrs. Osei from office over allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance as well as abuse of office.

Some of the allegations involved the unilateral award of contracts by the EC boss in the run-up to the 2016 general election.

The petition against her alleged among others the funneling of GHc3.9 million to partition an office, the receipt of a Toyota Land Cruiser from the Mahama government and the use of about $14 million when the Public Procurement Authority had authorized her to use only $7.5 million.

Mrs. Osei also responded by making allegations of corruption against her deputies.

She claimed she was only being hounded because she sought to introduce systems to curb mismanagement.

Charlotte Osei accused a deputy Chairperson of the Commission of illegally signing contracts worth over GHc 40 million without her approval.

Another individual, by name Douglas Seidu, also petitioned the President in August 2017 seeking the removal of the EC Chair, on grounds of “financial misconduct, incompetence, conflict of interest and breaches of the public procurement processes.

President Akufo-Addo in accordance with the constitution forwarded both petitions to the Chief Justice to look into the matter.

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Source: Asempanews.com

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