The Centre for National Affairs (CNA), has petitioned the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, to fast-track investigations into alleged corruption at the Electoral Commission (EC).
The CNA told Citi News the delays compromise the work of the EC ahead of critical elections.
The group is concerned about the upcoming political party primaries and the expected referendum on the creation of new regions. The Executive Director of the Centre, Samuel Lartey, said these activities that require the EC may be disrupted.
“You know that we have two referendums coming next year . Already the political party primaries are ongoing. You know the political primaries are handled by the Electoral Commission.”
“We wonder how we are going to restore the leadership; bring back the integrity of the office. We wonder how the results of those referendums will be trusted by the people.”
Back in December 2017, the EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei and her two Deputies, Amadu Sulley (in charge of Operations) and Georgina Amankwa (in charge of Corporate Services) met with the Chief Justice over a petition filed against EC.
A five-member committee was subsequently set up by the Chief Justice to investigate the alleged corruption.
Some staff of the EC petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo in July 2017, to remove Mrs. Osei from office over allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance as well as abuse of office.
Some of the allegations involved the unilateral award of contracts by the EC boss in the run-up to the 2016 general election.
The petition against her alleged among others the funnelling of GHc3.9 million to partition an office, the receipt of a Toyota Land Cruiser from the Mahama government and the use of about $14 million when the Public Procurement Authority had authorized her to use only $7.5 million.
Mrs. Osei also responded by making allegations of corruption against her deputies.
She claimed she was only being hounded because she sought to introduce systems to curb mismanagement.
Charlotte Osei accused a deputy Chairperson of the Commission of illegally signing contracts worth over GHc 40 million without her approval.
Another individual, by name Douglas Seidu, also petitioned the President in August 2017 seeking the removal of the EC Chair, on grounds of “financial misconduct, incompetence, conflict of interest and breaches of the public procurement processes.
President Akufo-Addo in accordance with the constitution forwarded both petitions to the Chief Justice to look into the matter.