On June 25, 2015, president John Dramani Mahama, in accordance with Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution, appointed Mrs. Charlotte Osei as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana.
Since her inauguration the EC, has been embroiled in one allegation or another, mostly surrounding the person of the Chairperson.
First came the allegation from the compulsive buffoon, who keeps evolving in complexity, Kennedy Agyapong, the Member of Parliament for Assin Central, that, she used her body to get the position.
Not many well-meaning Ghanaians rose up to speak against his comments, in fact the current Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, who was then the women organizer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), defended the uncouth comments from the uncouth man.
President Akufo-Addo, who was then obsessed with power, saw nothing wrong with what Kennedy Agyapong said, he endorsed it.
Then came the allegation from the NPP that, 76,286 persons with the same data could be found in both Ghana and Togo’s voter register.
The EC based on this allegation proceeded to hold a forum, where all the stakeholders, especially the NPP, led by Peter Mac Manu, were called upon to come and give their evidence.
At the forum, the NPP failed to adduce any evidence to support the allegation, so with their tails in between their legs, they left very disappointed.
In the run-up to the 2016 elections, they made so many demands, including having their surrogates go to court, to compel the EC to implement one reform or another.
After the 2016 presidential election and candidate Akufo-Addo, was declared the eventual winner, many thought the issue of her eligibility and suitability, must have been put to rest, but no, her nightmares were not over, it is just getting started.
They switched to another gear, this time get some ghosts to petition the president, seeking her removal from office.
In and around July 2017, some aggrieved employees of the Electoral Commission (EC) petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo to dismiss the Chairperson of the Commission, Charlotte Osei.
The employees in a statement insisted Mrs. Osei should be impeached for among others, bringing the “Commission’s name into disrepute by single highhandedly petitioning EOCO on an alleged misappropriation of staff endowment fund for malicious reasons. ”
They further revealed that following her appointment as EC Chair, Mrs. Osei “compromised the independence and neutrality of the Commission by arranging for 2015 V8 Land Cruiser with registration WR 2291-15 from the office of the President for use as official vehicle without going through the procurement process or recourse to the Commission.”
The aggrieved employees also alleged that Mrs Osei “unilaterally awarded a contract to the tune of GHS 3.9 million for demarcation and partitioning of the said office complex without recourse to the Commission” and “engaged in cronyism” by “awarding another contract to the tune of $14,310,961 (United State Dollars) to her cronies for the construction of Pre-fabricated District offices without recourse to the Commission. ”
“The value of these contracts is in excess of the approved threshold by the Public Procurement Authority. One of the contractors by name Messrs Contracts & Cads Limited is related to Mrs. Charlotte Osei. Upon receipt of advance mobilization under the approval of the Chairperson, the company has failed to meet the contract terms.”
The petition was signed by the lawyer for the employees, Maxwell Opoku Agyemang.
On June 28, president Akufo-Addo removed from office the Chairperson of the EC, and her two deputies, Mr Amadu Sulley and Ms. Georgina Opoku Amankwah, with immediate effect.
This was after the committee set up by the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, pursuant to Article 146 (4) of the Constitution recommended their removal from office.
According to the mistakes ridden statement signed by the Information Minister and Presidential Spokesperson, Dr. Mustapha Hamid, the committee recommended their removal on the basis of state misbehavior and incompetence pursuant to Article 146 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.
In 2017, was shortlisted for the prestigious 2017 Chatham House Prize, to be awarded by the Royal Institute of International Affairs of the U.K.
According to the Director of Chatham House, Dr. Robin Niblett CMG, the nomination of Mrs. Osei was based on her admirable supervision of Ghana’s peaceful and transparent electoral process in December 2016.
Charlotte Osei was the only female and African to be nominated for the 2017 Prize.
Election is an important part of any democratic process that enables the citizenry determine fairly and freely who should lead them at every level of government periodically
Jesus said in Luke 4:24, “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.
A foreign institution has recognized her contribution to our democracy, yet we have sacked her for incompetence.
2016 elections was one of the freest and fairest we have had since 1992, no single blood was shed, we did not exceed the limited time of announcing the results 48 hours after voting, so please, if I am sleeping wake me up, because I do not understand, what they meant by ‘incompetence’
The president, has set us on a path that is sure to derail whatever democratic gains we have made.
This precedence will guide future leaders and political activists, who will quote and make reference to what happened to Charlotte Osei.
Her dismissal, has nothing to do with procedure, the Constitution or administrative, it was purely and simply a political decision.
A mushroom group affiliated to the NPP, Alliance For Accountable Governance (AFAG), hated and detested the woman that they wrote to Chatham Group in UK, telling them not to award Madam Charlotte Osei.
Only a party full of witches and wizards will stand against an award that not only seeks to recognize an individual, but the whole nation.
Indeed, Charlotte came, she saw, liked the job and she has been sacked.