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Attorney General sued over EC boss’ removal

A private citizen, Fafali Nyonator, has hauled the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Gloria Akuffo to the Supreme Court over the impeachment of Charlotte Osei as the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).

President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday, June 28, 2018, sacked Mrs Osei and her two deputies – Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah – from office.

Their dismissal was after the Committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, pursuant to Article 146(4) of the Constitution, to investigate separate complaints brought against the three persons by Ghanaian citizens, recommended their removal from office.

The Committee recommended their removal on the basis of stated misbehaviour and incompetence, pursuant to Article 146(1) of the Constitution.

The action of Ms Nyonator, according to the writ filed at the Supreme Court Tuesday, is among other things seeking a “declaration that the determination by Her Ladyship the Chief Justice of a prima facie case pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution for the removal of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission is inconsistent with Article 130(a) of the Constitution as by the said determination Her Ladyship the Chief Justice usurped the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to construe and/or define the scope of application of the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Articles 44(2) and 146 thereof.”

Again, the writ is seeking a declaration that the Committee set up by the Chief Justice pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution to inquire into the petition for the removal from office of Mrs. Osei exceeded its powers by construing, or defining the scope of application of, provisions of the 1992 Constitution, including Articles 44(2) and 146, and thus acted in violation of Article 130(a) of the Constitution by usurping the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret the provisions of the Constitution.

It is further asking the Supreme Court to by an order declare “as null and void the said prima facie determination of Her Ladyship the Chief Justice, the report of the said Committee that recommended the removal from office of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission as well as the decision of His Excellency the President of Ghana to remove from office the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission on the basis of the said report.”

Again, the writ is seeking for “an order of perpetual injunction restraining His Excellency the President of Ghana from appointing any person to the position of Chairperson of the Electoral Commission until that position has become lawfully vacant in accordance with proper processes and procedures as by law established.”

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has served notice that it would embark on a nationwide demonstration against the decision, arguing that it was “politically orchestrated.”

The government, however, decried attempts to politicise the decision to dismiss Mrs Osei and her deputies, explaining that it was “purely an internally generated matter.”

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