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General News Wed, 6 Feb 2019

Supreme Court affirms Charlotte Osei’s sacking

The suit challenging the removal of Charlotte Osei as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) has been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

The suit filed by the editor-in-chief of the Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr., had claimed that the committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, to investigate six allegations levelled against then EC boss and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley in charge of Operations and Georgina Opoku-Amakwah who was responsible for Corporate Services ‘acted in excess of its powers’ when it recommended the removal of the former EC bosses.

According to him, the recommendation of the committee which occasioned the removal of the three EC officials is “unconstitutional, and by reason null, void and of no effect”.

However, a seven-member panel presided over by Justice Julius Ansah, yesterday dismissed the application saying it did not raise any issues for ‘constitutional interpretation or enforcement.’

The highest court also held that the jurisdiction of the court was not properly invoked – one of the reasons for the dismissal of the suit.

Suit

In the heat of the Charlotte Osei brouhaha in July last year, Mr. Baako went to the Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of the removal of Charlotte Osei and her two deputies from the EC.



The writ was challenging the decision of the Chief Justice to establish a prima facie case against the EC officials based on which the committee outlined six allegations as presented by the petitioners who were all EC employees.

According to the writ of summons of the applicant, the move was inconsistent with Article 146 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.

The writ then prayed the court to declare the recommendation and the removal of Mrs. Osei and her two deputies as unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect.

Background

The chairperson of the EC and her two deputies were removed from their posts in July 2018 following the recommendation by a committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate a number of serious allegations and counter allegations made against the three.

The petition had been brought against Mrs. Charlotte Osei by 17 workers of the EC in July 2017, and afterwards a counter petition was filed against her two deputies by a non-staff of the commission named Emmanuel Korsi Senyo, aka Emmanuel Korsi Senyo Kumedzina, who is an activist of the opposition NDC and graduate of KNUST.

The three EC gurus were sacked from office by the President on grounds of stated misbehaviour and incompetence as recommended by a five-member committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate the affected EC chieftains.

Following the removal of the three EC bosses, the opposition NDC under whose tenure all the three officers were elevated to their respective positions cried foul, claiming the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration was targeting Charlotte Osei in order to rig the 2020 general elections.

However, President Akufo-Addo said the decision to remove the chairperson and her two deputies from office was not borne out of hatred.

He said he only acted on the recommendations of the committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate complaints against the sacked EC boss and her two deputies.

Source: dailyguideafrica.com
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