Nana Throws Out EC Boss Removal Petition

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has dismissed a petition for the removal of Madam Jean Adukwei Mensa as Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).
The petition had been filed by the Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) – a pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) group, Mensah Thompson.
In a petition dated June 9, 2020, he asked that the EC boss be removed from office for supposedly failing to declare her assets as with reference to Article 145 (3) of Ghana’s Constitution.
In a letter dated July 27, 2020, however, the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, indicated that upon receipt of the petition, the President, by a letter dated 11 June, 2020, referred it, together with its incidental papers to the Chief Justice, in accordance with the teachings of Article 146 (3) of the Constitution.
By a letter dated July 15, 2020, it said “the Chief Justice conveyed his determination of whether or not there was a prima facie case” and that “the Chief Justice found that the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) did not make any finding that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, had committed any criminal offence.”
Furthermore, Secretary to President indicated that “the Chief Justice did not find any statute that criminalizes the non-declaration of assets within the time stipulated in the Constitution.”
The Chief Justice was then said to have determined that no prima facie case had been made by Mensah Thompson’s petition to warrant the impeachment of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa.”
In any event, the letter stated, “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 February 17, 2020.”
The President was, therefore, literally left with no choice but to dismiss the petition on the weight of evidence against Madam Jean Mensa.
An unsatisfied Mensah Thompson, however, insisted the Chief Justice was caught up in a conflict of interest position when he was asked to determine a prima facie case against Jean Mensa based on the fact that he has also been investigated by CHRAJ for violating the same law and similar findings had been made by CHRAJ against him.
In a Facebook post yesterday, he noted that “if the Chief Justice had found prima facie case against the EC chairperson, it would have opened the door for a similar petition to be brought against him for his removal from office as well.”
“We believe that the chief as a matter of principle should have recused himself from this petition and nominated another Supreme Court judge to have looked into this matter to avoid the Conflict of Interest situation he was caught in,” he insisted while noting with emphasis that “the Removal of office for Article 71 office holders is not only triggered by criminal offenses.”
In his opinion “when a public officer violates any provisions in our constitution or conducts him/herself in a manner that is inconsistent with our constitution, Article 146 can be triggered.”
Source: Dialy Guide

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