All too soon, the stage has been set for President Akufo-Addo to revisit his own precedent benchmark, when he removed Mrs Charlotte Osei, the immediate past EC Chairperson from office, under bizarre and grim circumstances believed to be politically motivated. Her replacement, Mrs Jean Mensa, is alleged to have worst cases of misbehaviour against her which has only one outcome: exit. Ample records with evidence shows her deliberate violation of Article 286 of the 1992 Constitution.
According to culled excerpts from reports issued by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice and copied Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability, as public accountability Civil Society Organisation, it submitted a petition to CHRAJ on December 12, 2019, invoking Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution, and requesting among others for CHRAJ to investigate the status of Mrs Jean Mensah as pertains to her declaration of assets as required by law for any Article 71 public officeholders.
Interestingly, checks at the Auditor General’s Office in a preliminary investigation at the instance of CHRAJ, indicated she hadn’t obliged by the constitutional requirements of Article 286 several months after her appointment; but was surreptitiously prompted to clandestinely correct the deliberate violation of Article 286 on February 17, 2020, in due time before CHRAJ issued it’s report on June 8, 2020; 18 clear months behind time schedule.
In a petition addressed to President Akufo Addo dated June 9, 2020, and signed by Mensah Thompson, Executive Director, ASEPA, the contention by ASEPA is premised on actions of failure by Mrs Mensah to comply with Article 286, which constitute a breach of assets declaration law and stated misbehaviour, grounds for the beginning of impeachment processes .
Given an ultimatum of a week contained in the petition for a response from the Office of the President, Mr Thompson threatened to initiate legal proceedings in form mondamus, if the petition is going to take forever for his attention and action. Indeed, this case has precedence before it. Except the case of Charlotte Osei which saw the Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, and other government functionaries and NPP activists play instrumental roles and working assiduously towards her ouster; the same cannot be said about piles of similar petitions thereafter submitted to the Office of the President for his attention and for the needed action.
It is in the light of this civic responsibility raised in arguments to remove Charlotte Osei, that the President is expected to act expeditiously to bring closure to this chapter of total disregard of the state. But a tinge of double standards seem to throw a wind of scepticism to believe President Akufo Addo is likely to exercise discretion in proportionate dimension as he did with the case involving Charlotte Osei, who is perceived as a political opponent.
The Supreme Court, in a recent ruling of majority vote, threw away a civil suit filed by Brogya Genfi. Brogya Genfi apparently petitioned CHRAJ and received a confirmed report, that Ken Ofori-Attah, the honourable Minister of Finance, owner of Enterprise Group and Databank and cousin to President Akufo Addo deliberately flouted the assets declaration regime of his appointment. It triggered a public interest case of conflict of interest and lack of transparency for interpretation by the Supreme Court, when sometime in April 2017, Ken Ofori-Attah caused for Enterprise Group to benefit from 95% worth of US $2.25 billion bond transaction. Databank has since been treated similarly.
The Supreme Court panel, which threw away the case brought about by Brogya Genfi against Ken Ofori-Attah was presided by the Chief Justice, it is a fervent hope the state is treated fairly in the outlined cases.