The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament has condemned what it termed illegal raid and invasion of the office and privacy of the Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commission (EC) in charge of Finance and Administration, Mrs. Georgina Opoku Amankwa by the EOCO.
According to the Minority, after 25 years of the functioning of the Fourth Republic’s Constitutional dispensation, acts such as this must not only be frowned upon but jettisoned with speed and alacrity and the perpetrators named, shamed and dealt with to guarantee growth of the country’s democratic order.
In a release, the Minority Ranking Member of the Communications Committee, Hon. Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini, urged Ghanaians who share similar democratic aspirations to condemn these actions of the EOCO.
Ghana, he said, is touted not only as a haven of peace, order and stability on the African continent but also as a beacon of democracy, rule of law and respect for the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the people.
He stressed that the NDC minority is disgusted and feels a sense of revulsion at the perpetration of this act of crass lawlessness on the person of the Deputy Commissioner.
Below is the full statement
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) minority in Parliament has learnt with profound sadness and dismay, the illegal raid and invasion of the office and privacy of the Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commission (E.C) in charge of Finance and Administration, Mrs. Georgina Opoku Amankwa.
On the afternoon of January 15, 2018, the Chief Executive of the EOCO backed by dozens of police personnel armed to the teeth and with armoured personnel carriers, descended on Madam Georgina’s office with the clear intent to forcibly evict her from her office.
In a typical Nazi Gestapo fashion, the EOCO Chief Executive Officer in the company of the armed police reportedly charged into her office, took over her seat and other available space in her office and ordered her to leave immediately.
This brazen act of lawlessness went on for several hours in the face of stiff resistance mounted by the E.C Deputy Commissioner until some other senior members of the EC intervened to rescue the besieged Deputy Commissioner.
The NDC minority in Parliament is disgusted and feels a sense of revulsion at the perpetration of this act of crass lawlessness on the person and office of the Deputy Commissioner of the E.C.
We find it untenable, indeed, completely unjustifiable, that under the guise of conducting investigations into matters such as an endowment fund for EC workers, a massive force such as assembled, could be used against an innocent law abiding official of a body insulated against Executive interference or control.
This is especially the case, given the fact that, this is a matter that EOCO has been probing for about seven months, a period during which the Deputy Commissioner had been prevailed upon to proceed on leave. This is not to mention the serious doubts raised regarding the jurisdiction of EOCO in dealing with this matter.
It is also instructive to note that the issue EOCO is purporting to act on is also the same subject matter of a pending suit before the Supreme Court in the matter referred to the Chief Justice from the President of the Republic.
It therefore appears to us in the minority from these and other factors that EOCO’s actions are nothing more than a desperate attempt to hound the Deputy Commissioner out of office.
We find it intriguing that first, EOCO, which indicates that it has submitted a report of its findings to the Attorney General cannot wait for advice from that superior body but would be in an indecent haste to evict Madam Georgina from her office.
Again, why would EOCO continue and even seek to conclude per its abortive eviction exercise, a matter properly before the Supreme Court now? Why the indecent haste?
This calculated removal of E.C Commissioners is obviously designed to facilitate the appointment by President Akuffo Addo of New Patriotic Party (NPP) members or sympathizers to fill such positions and thus anchor the NPP to interfere with and control the EC. This has been a long standing dream the NPP has yearned for.
We in the Minority lay the blame on this brazen act of lawlessness and institutional confusion that has arisen between the EOCO and the Supreme Court, squarely at the doors of the Presidency and accordingly puts the onus on President Nana Akufo-Addo to clear the mess and take steps to forestall a future recurrence.
Ghana is touted not only as a haven of peace, order and stability on the African Continent but also as a beacon of democracy, the rule of law and of the respect for the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the people.
We therefore have a collective duty to respect these rights of individuals, especially so, when such individuals occupy very important or strategic institutions of state which the framers of our constitution in their wisdom, found it prudent to guarantee their independence by among others insulating them from the interference or control of the Executive or any other body.
The Minority wishes to serve notice to the Nana Akufo-Addo Government that it would not stand idly by for the government, either through its surrogates or through dubious legal measures, to hound legitimately qualified and appointed officials of state and especially those of the Electoral Commission who are independent, out of office.
We call on all Ghanaians as well as friends who share in our democratic aspirations, to roundly condemn these actions of the EOCO, bring it and others engaged in similar lawless acts to order and work together to ensure the total and not selective enforcement of the rights and fundamental freedoms of everyone.
After over 25 years of the functioning of the Fourth Republican Constitutional dispensation, acts such as this must not only be frowned upon but must also be jettisoned with speed and alacrity and perpetrators named, shamed and dealt with to guarantee the growth and progress of our democratic order.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org