Ghana: President’s maiden press conference, petition to impeach EC chair reported in Ghana

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – The maiden press conference by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and a petition by anonymous workers of the Electoral Commission (EC) to impeach its chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei, were some of the stories highlighted by the media this week.

“Economy on path of recovery following critical interventions – President,” was the headline of the state-owned Graphic newspaper on Tuesday’s press conference by the president.

The story said after six months in office, the president gave account of his stewardship, saying a number of critical interventions instituted by his Administration had succeeded in helping the economy recover from the mess it inherited.

The Graphic said the president subjected himself to intense media scrutiny and answered questions bordering on security, corruption, the economy, agriculture, energy, power supply and the controversial sale of contaminated fuel by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company Limited.

Describing the economy he inherited as one in “desperation”, president Akufo-Addo said: “Our desperate economic situation meant that we had to take some unorthodox but brave measures.”

He said there was no chance that the government, voted into office with a mandate for change, would dare do things in the business-as-usual manner, adding that his government’s budget had set the tone for new ways of doing things that would transform the economy.

Accra-based radio station Citifm said president Akufo-Addo stated that the biggest challenge of his government was job creation.

He said the government was adopting various measures, including the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan, to tackle the high level of unemployment.

But as expected, the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has slammed the president’s claims saying he and his government have failed as managers of the affairs of state.

The Graphic quoted the National Chairman of the NDC, Mr Kofi Portuphy, as saying that the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had woefully failed the nation.

He chided the government for not settling down to the serious business of solving the challenges facing Ghanaians six months after coming into office but skirting around its promises.

Mr Portuphy likened the attitude of the president to that of the Ghanaian folklore icon called Kwaku Ananse “who always begins as the most intelligent and shrewd person but ends up scampering to hide his embarrassment in his web’’.

He expressed disappointment at the attitude of the government which, he said, campaigned on the wings of blatant untruths to demonise the NDC government and promised to swing the magic wand to turn the country into a paradise within 100 days but had woefully failed to deliver.

“Pres, CJ petitioned to impeach EC chairperson,” was the headline of the state-owned Ghanaian Times on the petition to impeach the EC chairperson.

The newspaper said some workers of the EC had petitioned President Akufo-Addo to initiate impeachment proceedings against Mrs Charlotte Osei, the chairperson of the Commission, for misconduct.

The petitioners, in a document signed on their behalf by their lawyer, Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, accused Mrs Osei of awarding contracts worth millions of dollars without seeking approval from the Commission.

According to the workers, who styled themselves as “Concerned Workers”, the EC boss took unilateral decisions including the abrogation of a contract the Commission awarded before she assumed office.

“Remove EC boss from office,” was the headline of the Graphic which stated that some workers of the EC had petitioned the president and Chief Justice, Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, to cause full-scale investigations into allegations of financial malfeasance and abuse of office levelled against the Chairperson of the Commission.

Citing alleged breaches of some provisions of the 1992 Constitution by the EC Chairperson regarding her office, conduct and duties, the petition also called for impeachment processes to be initiated for her removal from office.

The Office of the President has confirmed that it has received a petition from a group calling itself "Concerned Workers of the Electoral Commission (EC)" asking the President and the Chief Justice to begin impeachment processes against Mrs Osei.

The Chairperson of the EC has said allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance levelled against her are "bogus", "frivolous", "lies" and "baseless".

In a statement Mrs Osei said: “The contents of the said ‘petition’ which has been widely circulated on social media and published by the mainstream media, are frivolous, baseless and are actuated by malice and ill-will. These allegations are in my view, the product of an overactive evil imagination, and do not deserve any serious attention.

“I wish to state categorically that all the defamatory allegations are outright lies and without any merit whatsoever.

“The political motive hunting would not serve the greater purpose. The 'motiveless malignity' behind this petition are self-seeking and faceless individuals with the sole motive of satisfying their purely personal vendetta against my person and protecting illegal financial interests.”

Her lawyer has asked counsel for the petitioners to disclose their names so she can sue them or the lawyer himself will be sued.

Meanwhile, in a story by the Graphic under the headline, “NDC: We'll resist removal of EC Chairperson,” the Minority leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has said the main opposition party said it would resist any attempt by the NPP government to remove Mrs Osei from office.

According to him, the NDC would not sit unconcerned for President Akufo-Addo to carry out his purported strategy to oust the EC boss from office just as he had used a similar strategy to sack some heads of public institutions since he assumed office.

Addressing a press conference at the NDC headquarters in Accra on Thursday, Mr Iddrisu said that since president Akufo-Addo took over power from NDC in January this year, he had sacked many heads of public institutions and replaced them with NPP loyalists, thus attempting to apply similar strategy to get rid of Mrs Osei.

He said the country had never witnessed such wanton sacking from office of persons suspected to be loyalists of an opposing party than what President Akufo-Addo had done within the first six months being in government.
-0- PANA MA 22July2017

22 july 2017 05:39:15

xhtml CSS