Nana picks 4 for EC job
President Akufo-Addo pulled off a major surprise yesterday when he nominated Jean Adukwei Mensa for appointment as the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).
Mrs. Mensa is the Executive Director of policy think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and coordinator of the Ghana Political Parties Programme.
The President also nominated two deputy commissioners, Samuel Tettey, and Dr Eric Asare Bossman, and another commissioner, Adwoa Asuama Abrefa, to replace Pauline Adobea Dzadzawa, who recently retired.
The nominations follow the removal of EC chairperson, Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies- Sulley Amadu in-charge of Operations and Georgina Opoku Amankwah in-charge of Corporate Services from office.
The President’s action followed a recommendation by a five-member committee set up by Chief Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo, which established the a prima facie case against three EC bosses in accordance with Article 146 (9) of the 1992 Constitution.
The committee’s report had captured serious breaches of procurement laws, and as a result, the committee, chaired by Justice Anthony Alfred Benin of the Supreme Court, recommended their removal from office on grounds of “stated misbehaviour and incompetence.”
A statement from the Jubilee House and signed by Chief of Staff, Frema Osei-Opare, indicated the President’s decision was based on the recommendations of the committee set up by the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, that investigated the matter and the subsequent retirement of another member of the EC, Pauline Dzadzawa on Monday, April 30, 2018.
The President has therefore sought the advice of the Council of State, in accordance with Article 70 (2) of the Constitution, for the appointment of Jean Mensa as the new chairperson, with Samuel Tettey and Dr Asare Bossman as her deputies, and Adwoa Asuama Abrefa as a member of the EC.
Jean Mensa is a lawyer by profession, and has carved a niche for herself in the field of policy research and advocacy. She has been involved in the development of policies such as the Presidential Transition Act of 2012, the Revised 1992 Constitution of Ghana (draft), the Political Parties Funding Bill and the Revised Political Parties Bill.
In 2010, she served as a member of the 1992 Constitution Review Commission, and is currently a member of the Government Committee tasked with preparing the Affirmative Action Bill.
She is the Coordinator of Ghana Political Parties Programme. She is married with three children.
Samuel Tettey is currently the Director, Electoral Services (Elections) at the Electoral Commission, a position he has held since January 2014. He is said to have held several positions at the Electoral Commission, including District Electoral Officer in the Awutu/Effutu/Senya District, and Central Regional Director of the EC, a position he held from 2005 to 2011.
He has been a member of many Election Observer Missions to countries such as the Kingdom of Lesotho, Guinea and Liberia.
He is married with three children.
Dr Eric Asare Bossman is currently the Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Legon. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in International Affairs from Ohio University, and also has a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Political Science from West Virginia University.
He is the author of several policy papers in the areas of international politics, democracy in Ghana, and has been teaching and researching in the fields of Comparative Public Policy, Democratic Development, Public Policy Analysis, Human Rights, International Security, Globalisation and Forced Migration.
Ms Adwoa Asuama Abrefa is a corporate legal practitioner, with specialisation in land/property acquisitions, corporate law and corporate governance.
She is currently the General Manager, Legal and Corporate Affairs at Cirrus Oil Services Limited, and holds an LLM Master of Laws Degree in Oil and Gas, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law and Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon. She is married with one child.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), under whose tenure Charlotte Osei was appointed, has hit the roof top once again, as they did when the President removed the EC boss and her duties from office.
They hurriedly issued a statement after the President’s nominations, singling out Jean Mensa.
They claimed Mrs Mensa is pro-NPP and an avowed anti-NDC person.”
Interestingly, IEA, under its Ghana Political Parties Programme, has been providing financial support to the NDC and other parties with representatives in Parliament.
“The National Democratic Congress received the news about the appointment of Mrs. Jean Mensa as a chairperson of the Electoral Commission by H.E. the President with shock and disbelief,” a statement signed yesterday by the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah, said: “We are shocked because until this appointment the President had given assurance to the nation that the persons to be appointed into the commission would be persons whose integrity and political neutrality would be above board.”
“For President Akufo-Addo to proceed contrary to his earlier assurances to appoint a known pro-NPP and an avowed anti-NDC person like Mrs. Jean Mensa to chair a commission which would organize election involving the NPP and NDC as main contenders defies all senses of decency, fairness and justice and amount to a gross abuse of the discretionary powers of appointment vested in him by the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
The statement said “the party would in due course provide further and better particulars of the open and covert activities of Jean Mensa which makes her unfit to occupy the high position of chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana.”