Some petitioners who want Electoral Commission (EC) Chair, Jean Mensa removed from office, have said they will begin to picket indefinitely at the Presidency, EC headquarters and Supreme Court from Wednesday, February 24, 2021.
This was contained in a notice to the Greater Accra Regional Police Command on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.
According to the petitioners, the planned picketing is to draw the attention of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to act on “our Article 146 petition demanding for the removal of Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa from office as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.”
The notice continued: “The President, upon receipt of an Article 146 petition, is expected to act as a conveyor belt by immediately referring same to the Chief Justice for further action."
“The President has failed to do this since receiving our petition on January 21, 2021.”
“Picketing shall be for three days each week from Wednesday to Friday beginning February 24, 2021, till our Article 146 is acted on,” the notice to the Regional Police Command stated.
It further stated that aware of “the COVID-19 safety protocols, there shall be a maximum of 25 peaceful citizens picketing each location.”
A private citizen, Mr Elikem Kotoko, on Thursday, 21 January 2021, petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the removal of the EC boss from office.
According to the private citizen, the petition is grounded on “stated misbehaviour of the Electoral Commission Chairperson.”
The Petition said: “The current leadership under the Chairmanship of Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, knowingly created Constitutional crises by their actions and inactions in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential elections, as they ignored caution and advice from various stakeholders of the adverse outcomes and implications of their actions and acts of omission.”
It noted that the EC chair in a letter dated 4 June 2020 copied to the President, the Council of State was given an opportunity “in the hope of averting this article 146 action for her removal from office,” but she refused to respond “making this instant petition inevitable.
“By this instant Petition and in accordance with Article 146, the President is obligated to forward for the immediate attention of the Chief Justice for the sole purpose of setting up the appropriate Committee thoroughly investigate allegations made in the Petition by named persons and organisations, to establish a case against the Electoral Commission Chairperson ultimately leading to the removal of Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa from office as per the Petition.”
The private citizen noted: “The petition is grounded on stated misbehaviour of the Electoral Commission Chairperson not limited to gross incompetence, bias, procurement breaches and poor corporate governance practices.”
The petition also listed some instances resulting from the incompetence of the Mensa-led EC, bias and poor corporate governance posture such as “adversarial posture and bias alleged.”
It emphasised that there “has been a breakdown of consensus building with stakeholders by the Jean Mensa-led EC and the consequent marginalisation of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).”
It further continued that the Mensa-led EC “created a parallel advisory body, the Eminent Advisory Committee which is largely defunct and has proven irrelevant to the challenges that arose in the course of the work of the Commission leading up to the crises.”