The Presidency says lawyers for Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, erred in writing to the Flagstaff House to demand copies of the petition seeking her impeachment.
According to Director of Communications at the Flagstaff House, Eugene Arhin, the petition is no longer in the custody of the Flagstaff House and therefore, finds it “curious” that the EC Chairperson decided to approach the seat of government for a copy.
Some staff of the Commission on July 13, 2017, in a 27-page document, formally requested a full-scale probe into various allegations against Mrs Osei, including willfully causing financial loss to the state and abuse of office.
Subsequently, Mrs Osei through her lawyers on July 21, 2017, in a 17-page document, described the claims as “baseless.”
A few days after receiving the petition, President Akufo-Addo referred the petition to the Chief Justice as stipulated by the constitution.
After the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo opened a formal probe into the allegations against the EC chair, Mrs Osei says she is yet to receive a copy of the petition against her.
Her lawyers wrote to President Akufo-Addo demanding an official copy of the petition.
She has also written to the Judicial Council acknowledging the invitation to appear before the Committee set up to probe the allegations. She was quick to demand, however, a copy of the petition, as well as the composition of the committee.
Speaking on Tuesday on Top Story on Joy FM, Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, expressed surprise that Mrs. Osei chose to ask for a copy of the petition from the Flagstaff House when she is well aware that the document had long left the seat of government.
“It seems quite curious but whatever be the case, we certainly would be the wrong forum for her lawyers to be looking for copies of the petition from.
“Whatever be the case if you [Charlotte] need copies of the petition it’s no longer available [with us]; they are with the Chief Justice and it’s for that reason that she set up the committee so I believe the best place that she can get a copy of that petition is from the Chief Justice,” Mr Arhin retorted.
“It is a straightforward issue…if she wants a copy she should get it from the Chief Justice [because] all the documents we have, we forwarded them,” he said.
Mr Arhin said President Akufo-Addo sent everything to the CJ pursuant to Article 146(3) of the 1992 Constitution. “If she is looking for a copy…I think the best place is the CJ office.”
Legal practitioner Samson Lardy Anyenini who led the impeachment process of the former Commissioner of CHRAJ said there is very little the presidency could do in such a situation.
He told Evans Mensah the presidency is only a “conveyor belt” which forwards such petitions to the Chief Justice as was done in the case against Lauretta Lamptey, a former Chair of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), who suffered a similar fate.