ASEPA to go to court after Akufo-Addo dismissed petition for Jean Mensa’s removal

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has served notice it will challenge President Akufo-Addo’s dismissal of its petition for the removal of EC Boss from office.

“We are going to court. First of all, the constitution with respect of article 142 does not say that the EC chairperson or any public office holders must breach any criminal code before they can be removed from office. Just a simple violation of any provision in our constitution is enough basis to remove any of these officeholders.”

ASEPA in June 2020, secured an impeachment declaration from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) that Jean Mensa had failed to declare her Assets and Liabilities in accordance with Article 286 of the constitution.

But CHRAJ said the EC chairperson rectified the anomaly when it was brought to her attention.

Despite the explanation from CHRAJ, ASEPA went ahead to petition the President for the removal of Jean Mensa over the same matter.

In a response to the petition, a statement signed by Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante dismissed the request of the CSO absolving the EC Boss of any criminal act.

“In any event, CHRAJ did not make any adverse findings against the Chairperson as the investigation was terminated and the complaint dismissed after the Chairperson declared her assets on 17th February 2020.”

The statement also added that the Chief Justice did not find any “statute that criminalises the non-declaration of assets within the stipulated time in the Constitution”.

The Office of the President responded to the petition after the Chief Justice’s determination of whether or not there was a prima facia case to warrant the impeachment of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.

The Chief Justice concluded that there was no prima face case to be established.

“Accordingly, I am directed by the President to inform you that your petition has been dismissed”, the statement signed by Nana Bediatuo Asante, Secretary to the President noted.

Precedent

It is the second time in the history of the country the Presidency has been petitioned to remove an incumbent EC boss.

The chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, were removed from office on June 28, 2018.

Their removal was based on recommendations from the committee that investigated corruption and misconduct allegations against them.

In July 2017, a group of staff of the EC, calling themselves concerned workers of the Electoral Commission (EC) asked the President and the Chief Justice to begin impeachment processes against the Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs Osei for misconduct.

In a six-page petition dated Thursday, July 13, 2017 and signed by their counsel, Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, the group accused the EC Boss of misconduct, citing breaches of some provisions of the 1992 Constitution as well as the Public Procurement Act, Act 663.

 

 

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