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General News Tue, 3 Jul 2018

A serious country would have initiated prosecution against dismissed EC commissioners - Lawyer

A private legal practitioner, lawyer Ralph Agyapong says the dismissed electoral commissioners, Mrs Charlotte Osei, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa should have been arrested for prosecution if Ghana is a serious country.

He told Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm indicated that the recommendations by the committee that led to the dismissal of the commissioners have criminal issues in them. He has therefore challenged the appropriate security institutions to take up the matter and deal with those culpable.

He believes there were statutory breaches and the president had no option than to dismiss the commissioners as directed by the committee that presided over the issue.

He also disagreed with lawyer Ndebugre who has described the removal of Charlotte Osei as travesty of justice on grounds that, the judges who presided over the matter were judges of strong integrity and credibility and could not be influenced or compromised in any shape or form.

He said there were procurement breaches and the monies involved are of tax payers hence we could have swept the issues under the carpet. 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 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."



"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.”

Source: rainbowradioonline.com
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