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Why Charlotte Osei and two EC deputies were sacked – CJ’s report

Some pages of the Chief Justice’s Committee report that recommended that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa should be removed from office.

According to the report, Mrs Charlotte Osei, breached procurement laws in the award of several contracts, prior to the 2016 elections.

Excerpts of the 54-page report seen by Graphic Online, said: “In November 2017, the Honourable Chief Justice of Ghana established a prima facie case on some of the allegations made against the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission as contained in the petition submitted to His Excellency, the President of the Republic.”

“In all, the Chief Justice made prima facie case against the Chairperson on six of the allegations contained in the said petition.”

For all the six allegations, the committee found Mrs Osei culpable, and said her explanation that she was not aware that she needed to go through procurement for some of the contracts because the monies involved were from donor partners, is untenable.

“The findings we have made on the allegations made against Mrs. Charlotte Osei, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, clearly gives a catalogue of breaches she inflicted on the Public Procurement Act. In all the procurement activities which we had to investigate, the findings have been that Mrs. Charlotte Osei failed to comply with the Public Procurement Act.

“The procurement activities include the engagement of Sory@Law and Associates for the Commission, the award of several contracts to STL, the two contracts for the partitioning and consultancy service of the new office block, the three contracts awarded for the construction of pre-fabricated district offices of the Commission and consultancy services thereof; the two contracts awarded to Dreamoval Ltd, and finally the two contracts awarded to Quazar Limited from South Africa. Evidence before the committee showed that all these contracts were awarded by Mrs. Charlotte Osei contrary to the Public Procurement Act” the report noted.

“On this point we disagree with Mrs. Charlotte Osei because we are convinced that procurement forms an important part of the core business of the Electoral Commission. Indeed, without procuring relevant goods and services, the Electoral Commission will find it difficult, if not impossible, to independently conduct free and fair elections in the country. In fact, procurement is so important to the Electoral Commission, that was why no less a person than the Chairperson is made the head of entity of the Commission.”

The Committee said Mrs Osei was writing directly to seek approval from the Public Procurement Authority to do restricted tender, and was also writing to companies to notify them of contracts.

The Committee thus contended further that “if procurement of goods and services was not part of the core business of the Electoral Commission as argued by Mrs. Charlotte Osei, why did she take over the above roles directly when there was a Procurement Unit with a Head in the Electoral Commission? We are of the opinion that Mrs. Charlotte Osei always knew that procurement was a very important part of the core business of the Commission, and that was why she personally took over the above roles.”

“On the whole, Mrs. Charlotte Osei’s persistent violation of the Public Procurement Act, showed misbehaviour and in some instance incompetence as found in this report” the Committee stated.

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