Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Mr. Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, has indicated that there were procedural breaches at every stage of the processes leading to the removal of the Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her two Deputies.
In an interview with ghanajustice.com, Mr Dafeamekpor explained that “the whole process leading to the dismissal, from drafting of petition, delivery of the petition to the office of the President, further delivery to the office of the Chief Justice for action and subsequent determination of a prima facie case, the consequent constitution of the commission of inquiry to go into the merit thereof and their findings were all tilted towards procedural impropriety”.
He explained that the petitioners were called to the presidency to tidy up the petition to meet the standard of a legitimate document before the document was forwarded to the office of the Chief Justice.
Mr. Dafeamekpor added that the President has no business in cleaning up the petition to meet its standard before forwarding it to the office of the Chief Justice to establish a prima facie case.
The South Dayi MP, who doubles as a member of the Judiciary Committee and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee revealed that the initial petition that prayed for the removal of Mrs. Charlotte Osei was a hurriedly drafted document and was dumped at the office of the President.
Mr. Dafeamekpor disclosed that the Chief Justice reduced the grounds in the petition from 27 to 6 and such practice of refining the petition is procedurally wrong.
“Technically and and legally, the Chief Justice has tempered with the content of the petition. She has decided to set the issues for the committee. The petition ought to have been handed over to the committee if she thought that she had made a prima facie determination for the committee to look at all the 27 grounds. She was not a lawyer for the petitioners”, he stated.
Mr. Dafeamekpor reiterated that in the contemplation of the framers of the Constitution, where the Chief Justice receives a petition of such nature, she is not supposed to do anything except to make a determination of a prima facie case.
He re-echoed that the Chief Justice failed to issue a ruling, in which the prima facie evidence will have to be publicised.
“It must be publicised to guide everybody. We want to know the reasons she canvassed in making a prima facie determination. We want to know the standard she adopted”, he stated.
Mr. Dafeamekpor further expressed that the report of the inquiry failed to set out the brief facts and the standard of proof.
He explained that ” when the facts are set out, the case of the petitioners are stated and the case of the respondents are also stated. These follow the evidence led and the documents tendered. After that, the applicable provisions and statutes to rely on also come in. This is followed by the legal analysis and the conclusion. The reports were never fashioned along this line. When reading the report, it looked like a prose, simply justifying the removal of the commissioners”.
The South Day MP also indicated that the report made sweeping statements and used diction to emphasise the words “misbehaviour” and “misconduct”.