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EC boss’ dismissal no different from military tribunal – IMANI Africa

Franklin Cudjoe says the removal of Charlotte Osei as the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, has highlighted, yet again, the selective nature in the application of the country’s laws and regulations.

Sharing his thoughts on Charlotte Osei’s dismissal on his twitter handle, he quizzed, “Can we see the real reasons for the removal of the Electoral Commissioner? How different is this from a military tribunal? Just asking”.

A military tribunal is an inquisitorial system based on charges brought by military authorities, prosecuted by a military authority, judged by military officers, and sentenced by military officers against a member of an enemy army.

Desperate to accentuate his views on the matter, the president of policy think tank, Imani Africa, further took to his Facebook page to add, “So, it would seem the Electoral Commissioners were removed from office for violating the Public Procurement Act, and the Public Financial Management Act.

“The ECs may have to defend themselves. Nice! We need to uphold the rule of law at all times. Now, let us look at the curious case of the KelniGVG”.

Read Franklin Cudjoe’s full post 

So, it would seem the Electoral Commissioners were removed from office for violating the Public Procurement Act, and the Public Financial Management Act. The ECs may have to defend themselves. Nice! We need to uphold the rule of law at all times. Now, let us look at the curious case of the KelniGVG.

  1. The Kelni GVG contract is multi-year, so section 33 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2016 requires that it should be approved by (a) the Minister for Finance, and (b) Parliament. Even though payments have been made, the contract has not been approved by Parliament. The statement by the Minister for Communications on the floor of Parliament does not represent parliamentary approval.
  1. In the contract, the Ministry of Communication (MoC) and Kelni GVG (KGVG) have agreed that the National Communications Authority (NCA) should pay for the KGVG’s services. This offends the National Communications Authority Act, 2008 (Act 769) which makes the NCA a body corporate with its own governing board. The NCA cannot pay for services it has not contracted.
  1. Again the MOC and KGVG have agreed that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) pays for the services of KGVG. This also offends the GRA Act, 2009 (Act 791) which makes the GRA a body corporate with a governing board. The GRA cannot pay for services it has not contracted, which services are outside their budget as approved by Parliament in the 2018 Budget Statement.
  1. The Communications Services Tax (Amendment) Act, 2013 requires the Minister for Finance and Minister for Communications to set up the common monitoring platform that KGVG is providing. The payment for the services should be captured in the budgets for these two ministries and paid for by them. If they did not, then as covered entities under the PFMA (Act 921), they should revise their budgets through due process before the two ministries can take on those expenditure.
  1. Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communications, GRA, and NCA are all covered entities under the PFMA. No covered entity is permitted to incur cost and place it on another covered entity that has not budgeted for that expenditure. Please note that under section 96(2) of the PFMA (Act 921), it is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment or a fine, or both, for a spending officer to spend beyond their budget.
  1. On any of these grounds, the contract could be cancelled or any payment for the contract by NCA or GRA can be made unlawful by a court. And the two ministries just cannot find the budget to finance this KGVG contrACT.
  1. This is why the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Finance, NCA and GRA have all been a cited as defendants /respondents in court suits.

Franklin Cudjoe on behalf of real citizens.

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