4 July 2018

Ghana: I Had No Choice but to Remove EC Chair, Two Deputies- - President Akufo-Addo

Photo: Ghana Presidency
President Nana Akufo-Addo in Germany.
press release

The removal of the Chairperson of Ghana's Electoral Commission (EC) and her two Deputies from office were neither borne out of hatred nor a plot deliberately orchestrated, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, has stated.

Speaking publicly on the matter for the first time at a Town Hall meeting in Nouakchott, Mauritania, last Saturday, President Akufo-Addo explained that whenever a petition for the removal of a high-ranking public official, in this case, the EC Chairperson, was submitted to the President, the 1992 Republican Constitution of Ghana enjoined the President to refer the petition to the Chief Justice who would determine whether or not a prima facie case had been established against the person against whom the petition was directed.

He said once a prima facie case was established, the Chief Justice, in accordance with Article 146(4) of the Constitution, was required to set up a Committee to investigate the complaints and make its recommendations to the Chief Justice, who would, then, forward it to the President.

President Akufo-Addo noted that the petitioners were workers of the Electoral Commission and not faceless persons as some would want Ghanaians to believe.

President Akufo-Addo said he was duty bound to uphold the tenets of the Constitution and, therefore, had no choice but to act on the recommendations of the Committee. "Article 146(9) of the Constitution demands that I act on the recommendations of the Committee. I have no power to disagree with the recommendations of the Committee, the Constitution does not give me that power. That is why I have removed the Chairperson of the EC and the two Deputies," he added.

Reiterating his unflinching commitment to building a country governed by the rule of law, the President said the laws governing the country should not be a respecter of persons.

"I, as President, am bound to respect the laws of our land. If I go against the laws of the country, I will be dealt with. Likewise, if you also go against the laws of the country, you must be dealt with. It is sad (the removal of the three EC Commissioners), but this is how it must be," he added.

The Committee that launched investigations into the matter over the past six months, comprised a Supreme Court Judge, two High Court judges, and two persons, who were neither lawyers nor Members of Parliament, appointed by the Chief Justice on the advice of the Council of State.

The Committee recommended that the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Charlotte Osei, and her two Deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah, be removed from office on grounds of stated misbehaviour and incompetence.

In search of a new EC Chairperson and the two Deputies, President Akufo- Addo said, "We are not looking for persons who are coming to do a job for the NDC or for the NPP. We are looking for persons who are coming to do a job for Ghana. That is what we are looking for, for the Electoral Commission".

Reiterating his unflinching commitment to building a country governed by the rule of law, the President said, the laws governing the country should not be a respecter of persons.

"I, as President, I am bound to respect the laws of our land. If I go against the laws of the country, I will be dealt with. Likewise, if you also go against the laws of the country, you must be dealt with. It is sad (the removal of the three EC Chairs), but this is how it must be," he added.

Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)

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