Expedite Action On EC Boss’s Case — Inusah Fuseini
The Ranking Member on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, has urged the Chief Justice to “timeously and expeditiously” determine whether the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Charlotte Osei, has a case to answer regarding the petition of impropriety against her.
He said it was important for the Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, to speedily determine whether there was a prima facie case against Mrs Osei or not.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra on Wednesday, Alhaji Fuseini said the allegations of impropriety against Mrs Osei had affected the reputation and integrity of the commission.
Besides, he said, there was uncertainty as to who was in charge at the EC and whether the commission was well placed to conduct future elections and the referendums for the creation of new regions.
Alhaji Fuseini, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, said “the petition against the EC head is very important and so it must be addressed expeditiously”.
He said the continued delay in the determination of the petition had the tendency “to grind the work of the EC to a halt”.
Two petitions calling for the impeachment of Mrs Osei as the EC Chair were submitted to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in July and August 2017.
As required by the Constitution, the President referred the petitions to the Chief Justice for consideration.
The first petition was presented by some unnamed staff of the EC, while the second was in the name of Mr Douglas Seidu and was said to contain at least 15 allegations against Mrs Osei, including the award of contracts in the run-up to the 2016 general election.
Reputation and integrity
Alhaji Fuseini said the allegations against the EC Chairperson had implications on her reputation and integrity. Therefore, he said, it was crucial for the Chief Justice to inform the public on the work being done on the petitions, instead of operating on the quiet.
The legislator said the early determination of the case would determine Mrs Osei’s future at the commission.
Besides, he said, it would give her the opportunity to take any remedial action on her image.
“We need to know something is being done. That will engender confidence. We don’t need secrecy,” he said.
The MP, who is a lawyer, said the first thing for the Chief Justice to have done, after receiving the petitions, was to determine whether there was a prima facie case against the EC Chairperson.
He said the establishment of a prima facie case would lead to the establishment of a committee to look further into the matter.
However, he said, since the forwarding of the petitions to the Chief Justice, “I have not heard anything about a prima facie case or the establishment of a committee”.
“It is about integrity and reputation. The earlier we resolve the issue, the better. We need to breathe life into the process,” Alhaji Fuseini said.