Charlotte Osei's suicide mission, dismissal of top EC officials

Charlotte Osei Prostrity Chief Justice's committee recommended the EC chair and her two deputies be removed

Sat, 30 Jun 2018 Source: Paramza Kofi Hamza

I must admit that after reading through the report of the Chief Justice Committee which probed the allegations levelled against the three top officials of the Electoral Commission, I was dumbfounded and shocked at the revelations which concerns the Chairperson. I have only sighted the dossier on the EC chair hence I will restrict myself to her dismissal until I see the dossier on her two deputies. Much as I want to blame the president for her dismissal, I can't hold back myself concerning the revelations in the CJC report.

First of all, looking at the level of resistance by elements of the NPP during opposition when Charlotte Osei was appointed by the then president Mahama, I felt she should have been extra vigilant but the turn of events in my view is disappointing. For a whole lawyer of her calibre and an astute public servant to breach procurement laws repeatedly is unthinkable and unpardonable.

The report indicates that somehow, she ignored EC's own tender panel responsible for procurement activities. How? She took it upon herself to run 'one man' show and became the de facto procurement officer for the EC. Unbelievable, isn't it? I think she is the best person to explain why she decided to do that. She said she would explain her side of the story at the appropriate time and some of us are waiting eagerly for that. I believe that was where her problems begun. You can't enforce the law on others while you breach the law yourself. You will be taken on at some point. Logic! She was found guilty in all six charges filed against her.

To make things worse, when it was alleged that she erred in her duties, she decided to drag in her two deputies along with her in attempt to court public sympathy. Well, the public sympathised with her and they are still sympathizing with her. I think she could have done much better. The result is that all three of them have been told to pack out and go home. Honestly, I think out of haste, she complicated her own agony and she has paid a heavy price.

It appears she foresaw her dismissal considering the manner in which she dragged in her deputies. Anyone who intended to survive wouldn't take her approach. She took a suicide approach and has succeeded. Well, the president says all of them should go home. There are equally competent and serious hands to do the job.

Objectively, I am trying very hard to see where the president went wrong in removing them legally. You can't blame anyone for his inability to save someone on a suicide mission. The argument about the cohesion and stability of the nation cannot hold in this case. According to lawyers of which Charlotte Osei is one, ignorance of the law is no excuse. I believe she understands that. As much as I sympathize with her, I think we should discuss the merits of the case devoid of emotions to avert reoccurrence of an issue of this nature in the near future. This is too ugly and may Ghana never experience this sort of thing ever again.

Columnist: Paramza Kofi Hamza
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