The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr. has said the removal of Charlotte Osei as the chairperson of the Electoral Commission is “too harsh.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday, June 28, 2018, sacked Mrs Osei and her two deputies – Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah – from office.
Their dismissal was after the Committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, pursuant to Article 146(4) of the Constitution, to investigate separate complaints brought against the three persons by Ghanaian citizens, recommended their removal from office.
The Committee recommended their removal on the basis of stated misbehaviour and incompetence, pursuant to Article 146(1) of the Constitution.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has served notice that it would embark on a nationwide demonstration against the decision arguing that it was “politically orchestrated.”
The government, however, decried attempts to politicise the decision to dismiss Mrs Osei and her deputies, explaining that it was “purely an internally generated matter.”
Speaking on Joy FM, Mr Baako said the recommendation by the Committee set up by the Chief Justice was “too harsh.”
“It is too strict. It is an overkill. We are talking here of removing somebody who is an Electoral Commissioner of the status of a Court of Appeal Judge. I think we must have something more substantive to deal with,” he added.
According to the veteran journalist, the allegation that Mrs Osei engaged of lawyers, Sory@Law without going through the procurement process as the law demands and that there is no formal contractual arrangement between the Commission and the law firm is neither here nor there.
He said “as far as I am concerned, I don’t think there was seriously speaking a violation of the procurement law. I think there has been a strict interpretation of the public procurement law. A very hard, strict, harsh way.”
Meanwhile, Mrs Osei in her first public reaction following her sacking said posterity will vindicate her performance as chair of the Commission.
She said her desire whilst in office was to ensure that Ghana maintains a credible and transparent commission which will be trusted by the Citizenry.
“I still hold the view and belief that our country deserves an Electoral Commission that is truly independent, unbiased, free, fair and firm, and can fight-off all attempts to politically capture, manipulate, influence and control it. This was always my cardinal objective and my approach to my work. In due time there will be ample opportunity to fully address these matters once and for all,” she said in a statement Friday.