EC under Charlotte Osei was not only weak but terrible-Lecturer backs Jean Mensa
Political science lecturer at the Methodist University, Dr. Osei Bonsu says the disclosure made by the Electoral Commissioner (EC), Mrs. Jean Mensa that the electoral body was weak before she took over is nothing new.
The lecturer said the current EC boss did not err in saying the EC was a weak institution before she took over.
In his view, the former EC boss, Mrs. Charlotte Osei had a terrible relationship with her team to the point that he failed to organize meetings.
He noted there were no agreement, unity and proper procedures at the EC under the former EC boss.
The Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Jean Mensa has said under her leadership, the corporate governance structure of the Electoral Commission has undergone some strategic reforms thus improving the entity’s operations.
“We inherited a very weak institution. It is an institution that is not founded on rules, administrative policy. It does not have a governance framework and so we came to the office and found out that we do not have a single policy to guide procurement, HR, administration.”
“Nothing exists so, in a nutshell, the Commission has existed as some sort of an election machine and over the years we have spent a lot of effort trying to plug the loopholes to the best of our knowledge and the best of our ability so it runs as a free for all institution till date.”
She made the remarks at a meeting with the president on Thursday.
The NDC has slammed her for making such comments.
However, the lecturer said the EC boss did no wrong in accounting to the president who appointed her.
Electoral issues he suggested are sensitive hence there is always the need for the EC to be transparent and accountable to its stakeholders.
‘’What Mrs. Jean Mensa said was nothing new to Ghanaians. The EC was not functioning properly under Charlotte Osei; she was at loggerheads with her two deputies Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa. What Mrs. Mensa said was nothing new.’’
Charlotte Osei’s removal from Office
President Akufo-Addo in 2018 removed Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her two deputies from office for “misbehaviour and incompetence.”
The removal was based on the recommendation of a committee set up by the Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo to investigate alleged acts of corruption, misconduct and misbehaviour by the three commissioners.
The two other commissioners were Amadu Sulley and Ms Georgina Opoku Amankwaa.
A statement signed by the Minister of Information Mustapha Hamid said the committee “recommended the removal on the basis of stated misbehaviour and incompetence, pursuant to Article 146 (1) of the Constitution.”
Mrs. Osei was appointed on June 25, 2015.
Her two other Deputies, Amadu Sulley and Ms Georgina Opoku Amakwaa were appointed in May 2012 and July 2013 respectively.
Some workers of the Electoral Commission petitioned the president for the removal of the Electoral Commissioner in July 2017, accusing her of financial malfeasance and abuse of office.
The 27-point petition among other things said the EC chair compromised the independence and neutrality of the commission by arranging for a 2015 V8 Landcruiser, with registration number WR 2291-15, from the Office of the President for use as an official vehicle, without going through the procurement process or without recourse to the commission.
“The chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei unilaterally awarded a contract of about $25,000 to a South African company Quazar Limited to change and re-develop the Commission’s Logo under the guise of rebranding without going through tender contrary to the Public Procurement Act,” point 26 of the petition read.
By: Rashid Obodai Provencal