THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA: ARTICLE 146
ARTICLE 146 PETITION FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION CHAIRPERSON, JEAN ADUKWEI MENSA.
The Electoral Commission (EC) of the Republic of Ghana is an independent Constitutional body charged with the primary responsibility of organizing FREE, FAIR and TRANSPARENT ELECTIONS.
The current leadership under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, knowingly created Constitutional Crises by their actions and inactions in the lead up to the 2020 Presidential Elections as they ignored caution and advise from by various stakeholders of the adverse outcomes and implications of their actions and acts of omission. It is worthy of note, that Mrs. Jean Mensa earlier last year as given an opportunity through a letter dated 4th June, 2020 (copy attached) copied the President of Ghana, the Chief Justice and the Council of State; in the hope of averting this Article 146 action for her removal from office, but Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa refused to respond making this instant Petition inevitable.
By this instant PETITION and in accordance with Article 146, the President is obligated to forward for the immediate attention of the Chief Justice for the sole purpose setting up the appropriate Committee to thoroughly investigate the allegations made in the Petition by named persons and organizations, to establish a CASE against the Electoral Commission Chairperson ultimately leading to the removal of Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa from office as per the Petition.
The Petition is grounded on stated misbehavior of the Electoral Commission Chairperson not limited to gross incompetence, bias, procurement breaches and poor corporate governance practices.
The under listed instances of incompetence of the Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission, bias and poor corporate governance posture has resulted in the following;
1. ADVERSARIAL POSTURE & BIAS:
There has been a breakdown of consensus building with stakeholders by the Jean Mensa-led EC and the consequent marginalization of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).
The Jean Mensa-led EC created a parallel advisory body, the Eminent Advisory Committee which is largely defunct and has proven irrelevant to the challenges that arose in the course of the work of the Commission leading up to the crises.
ALLEGED COLLUSION OF EC WITH THE NPP
The independence of the Jean Mensa-led EC was often compromised.
The Jean Mensa-led EC rather than build consensus in taking a decision on the vexed issue of a new voters registration in the middle of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic; resorted to voting at an IPAC meeting after allegedly packing the IPAC with many defunct political parties which were not in good standing per the records of the Electoral Commission, in a bizarre manner allegedly calculated to procure a particular outcome favourable to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
It is instructive to note that, the appointment of the Jean Mensa-led EC after the acrimonious REMOVAL OF THE CHARLOTTE OSEI-LED EC set the baseline for judging the new EC.
The bias and utterances of the new Jean Mensa-led EC has been very evident.
Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, the Chairperson, prior to her appointment by President Akufo Addo, had a history with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) which had led to the NDC boycotting her private organization, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) which was involved in National ELECTION Policy Formulation.
A Deputy Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Bossman Asare, who until his appointment by President Akufo Addo, was the Patron of the NPP Students wing (TESCON) of the University of Ghana, had publicly said that the NDC was a threat to Ghana's democracy.
The Director of Electoral Services of the EC, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe also by his posture, utterances and very conduct seemed opposed to the NDC and favourably aligned to the NPP.
Many official statements and key programmes of the Jean Mensa-led EC were often publicly announced by the governing NPP before the EC officially came to confirm same verbatim.
2. GROSS INCOMPETENCE:
The incompetence of the Jean Mensa-led EC became very apparent before, during and after the Ayawaso West Wuogon BYE-ELECTION.
The botched ELECTION SECURITY resulted in an extremely LOW TURNOUT (19%) and other negative manifestations that marred Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa's maiden competitive ELECTION.
The avoidable Constitutional Crises that Ghana has been plunged into by the Jean Mena-led EC, is the product of incompetence on the part of Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa and the bad corporate governance practices she adopted.
Disenfranchising the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi could have been avoided by the early creation of the New Guan Constituency following the creation of the Oti Region out of the Volta REgion over two (2) years ago and the creation of a New Guan District.
The Jean Mensa-led EC gave assurances to the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi that they would vote in the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary election, however, less than 24hrs to the voting, on a Sunday when no court ACTION was possible; the Electoral Commission issued a written statement indicating that the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi could only vote in the Presidential Election but not the Parliamentary election.
The EC’s action of disenfranchising the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi is unconstitutional; as it denies them representation in Parliament for four (4) years.
The Constitution requires that Ghana is divided into Constituencies for the purpose of election and such elections must result in all parts of Ghana being represented in Parliament.
This act of omission on the part of the Jean Mensa-led EC is the subject of two (2) separate law suits affecting two (2) Parliamentary Candidates and Members of Parliament in two (2) Constituencies across two (2) regions which this Petition leaves to the courts to so determine.
The dilemma of the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi, who are bona fide Ghanaian Citizens, is fundamental to the Representation of the people, undermining the very essence of Parliament as the House of the Peoples Representatives and an attempt at extinguishing the fundamental rights of a section of registered Ghanaian voters.
3.. ELECTION SECURITY:
There were very grave security breaches recorded at all elections related activities organized by Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa such as the New Voters Registration exercise, Voters Exhibition exercise, Bye-election, the 2020 Election especially at Collation Centres where deaths were recorded.
An illegal National Security SWAT Team of uniformed armed masked men led by ASP Azugu, which included known NPP Militiamen e.g. "DOUBLE" who were recruited from the Delta Force and Invisible Forces invaded and violently disrupted the Ayawaso West Wuogon Bye-Election.
It emerged during the public hearings of the Justice Emil Short Commission of Enquiry on the Ayawaso West Wuogon Bye-Election Violence, that these NPP militiamen were deployed on blind side of the National Security Minister, Mr. Kann Dapaa and the entire Police Command by the Minister of State in-Charge-of National Security at the Office of the President, Hon. Bryan Acheampong.
Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa under oath, committed PERJURY before the Commission of Enquiry, when she claimed to be untrue the presence and actions of the uniformed armed masked men who invaded the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-election, despite video evidence to the contrary.
The uniformed armed masked men by their violent conduct and shooting at the residence of the NDC Candidate and near the polling station early on voting day, deliberately scared prospective voters resulting in an EXTREMELY LOW VOTER TURNOUT in the stronghold of the NDC candidate leading to the election of the NPP candidate.
The entire Police Command, from then Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr. Asante Apeatu to the Regional Director of Operations Mr. Kwesi Ofori, all denied knowledge nor involvement in the Ayawaso West Wuogon SWAT operation which involved uniformed armed masked men who used police branded vehicles to carry out the criminal act.
President Akufo Addo’s disregard of the recommendations of the Justice Emil Short Commission of Enquiry; emboldened others to emulate the Ayawaso West Wuogon mayhem.
The President's decision not to punish his Special Initiatives Minister Hon. Hawa Koomson for shooting at a Registration Centre set the tone for a series of violent events ending with the fatal shooting by a National Security operative "COLA" from the Office of the President.
The Collation Centres became militarized zones after the elections of 7th December, 2020.
Despite various public assurances from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on behalf of the EC ELECTION SECURITY COMMITTEE that the Military, National Security Council (NSC) and BNI will play absolutely no part in the ELECTION 2020 SECURITY ARCHITECTURE; the Election Collation Centres on election day were flooded with armed men in Military and Police uniforms who in some instances opened fire on civilians resulting in fatalities.
President Akufo Addo has not set up a Commission of Enquiry into these ELECTION 2020 SHOOTING incidents.
Inaction on the part of the President Akufo Addo has fed into public suspicions that the NPP was actively involved in these militia operations as indicated by some of the armed masked militiamen in videos claimed that Ayawaso West Wuogon was a dressed rehearsal for ELECTION 2020.
The invasion of Parliament by armed police officers and a detachment of military personnel from the Office of the President on 7th January, 2021 during the Speakership Election, which election, though not organized by the EC; an act which has been described as a COUP by some MPs is being normalized by others citing the events of previous elections and related activities of the EC.
4. ELECTION MALPRACTICES:
Record high voting figures, videos depicting multiple voting which went viral on social media and other electoral irregularities characterized the referendum on the creation of New Regions.
Ballot Tampering, opening of Ballot Boxes without authorization and Ballot Paper Snatching have become the new normal under Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa's tenure as chairperson of the EC.
Ballot papers embossed with the EC official stamp Pre-thumb printed in favour of the NPP Candidate were found on some persons before the elections, while similarly pre-thumb printed ballot papers bearing the EC official stamp were found dumped after the elections.
It is important to note that very significant quantities of the ELECTION 2020 ballot papers were printed by the Ghana Publishing Company headed by a former NPP Parliamentary Aspirant and a self-confessed Akufo Addo protegè, Mr. David Asante.
5. Botched Referendum on the ELECTION of DCEs:
The neutrality of the EC was seriously compromised as members of the EC notable among them, Dr. Bossman Asare joined President Akufo Addo to campaign for a YES VOTE while the NDC led by Former President John Mahama campaigned for a NO VOTE.
The President ordered the independent Electoral Commission to abort the Referendum VOTE when it became apparent that the NDC in Parliament would not do the bidding of the President, the supposedly independent Electoral Commission heeded the President's order and aborted the Referendum which the NO VOTE was poised to win.
Interestingly, 20% of the ballot papers for the aborted referendum were printed two (2) weeks ahead of schedule by the Ghana Publishing Company headed by the former NPP Parliamentary Aspirant and Akufo Addo protegè, David Asante.
6. Procurement Breaches:
It was alleged by IMANI that the company that won the bid to supply the BVDs was illegally termination and the bidding process recreated in favor of Thales that led to the resignation of the Chairman of the Entity Tender Committee of the Electoral Commission.
Members of the Electoral Commission's Entity Tender Committee and IMANI who have publicly accused the EC and Jean Mensa of Procurement Breaches, can provide specific details of items under reference and further assist the Chief Justice Committee to establish a Premafacie case against offending EC officials including the Chairperson, Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa.
7. PERJURY at Ayawaso West Wuogon Commission of Enquiry:
Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa under oath before the Commission of Enquiry, committed PERJURY despite video evidence to the contrary, she denied the presence and actions of the uniformed armed masked men who invaded the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-election and ultimately scared prospective voters resulting in an EXTREMELY LOW VOTER TURNOUT.
Beyond PERJURY constituting a criminal offence, the misconduct of Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, goes to her character, integrity and suitability as a public officer let alone a Commissioner of an independent Constitutional body such as the Electoral Commission which requires the highest form of CREDIBILITY and INTEGRITY of its personnel to discharge its duties.
Mrs. Jean Mensa is accused by several Members of Parliament of making False Declarations before the Parliamentary Special Budget Committee.
8. False declaration of RESULTS:
The history of false declarations and lack of candor on the part of Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa before the 2020 election made it difficult to accept the results of that election especially when she started changing the figures of the Presidential Election Results.
The self-imposed 24hr deadline to finish collection, collation and declaration of a sensitive PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULT was a recipe for disaster.
Despite several warnings that it was unrealistic, Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa willfully continued on that path till she eventually had to postpone the earlier deadline by another 24hrs then went into a series of WRONG DECLARATIONS with calculation errors and a string of faulty corrections.
This comedy of errors and corrections was even more ridiculous when the GAZETTE publication became shrouded in similar errors and manufacturing of undeclared RESULTS.
The Parliamentary GAZETTE was published by the Ghana Publishing Company headed by the former NPP Parliamentary Aspirant and Akufo Addo protegè, David Asante under controversial circumstances requiring investigation into the leakage of error-riddled Gazette Results on social media.
Mr. David Asante contradicted Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa on national Television and Radio relative to the official release of GAZETTED PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION RESULTS which included the uncollated TECHIMAN SOUTH and injuncted HOHOE RESULTS.
9. Use of defective National Identification Authority (NIA) GhanaCard:
The EC officially indicated it would not use the National Identification Authority database nor the GhanaCard for the compilation of a New Voters Register. stating the defects and how it will compromise the New Voters Register data which the EC had promised to be 100% perfect devoid of any foreigners nor minors being present on the New Voters Register and for which reason the use of Birth Certificates as proof of Ghanaian Citizenship was outlawed.
However, the EC proceeded to use the GhanaCard and by extension the inadequate and flawed data from the NIA to create its New Voters Register therefore only succeeded in removing the names of dead persons but not that of foreigners and minors as promised.
The old register and biometric equipment which the EC said was about 99.7% accurate, thus was replaced with a less accurate one at a VERY HIGH Financial, Personal and Health cost.
10. COVID-19 RISK:
The Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission undertook the avoidable New Voters Registration and Exhibition exercises during the COVID-19 pandemic at great risk to millions of Ghanaians.
The 2020 ELECTION itself was also conducted during the global second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic at even greater risk to millions of Ghanaians.
Many Ghanaians have been infected by the Coronavirus within 2020 with several high profile personalities undergoing quarantine including the then President, Speaker and Chief Justice.
Other Ghanaians sadly lost their lives to COVID-19 included the Former General Secretary of the NPP, Former President Rawlings, Director of Policy at the Office of the President and the current National Security Coordinator.
The Chairperson of the COVID-19 Fund and the former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo and the Ghana Medical Association have blamed the latest spike in COVID-19 cases to election 2020 related activities; a position that was advanced for the avoidance of the compilation of a New Voters Register.
The cumulative effect of the above ten (10) above have resulted in a number of Secondary actions:
i. One (1) Presidential Election dispute.
Changing of ELECTION RESULTS several times after the Electoral Commission’s self-confessed wrongful declaration of the Presidential Election RESULTS.
ii. Sixteen (16) Parliamentary Election disputes.
Collation disputes and injunctions arising out of Electoral commission acts and omissions.
iii. Observers damning reports on Collation of Election 2020.
EU/AU observers affirm that the collation of ELECTION RESULTS was done in an opaque manner thus NOT TRANSPARENT.
iv. Several Security Breaches and Violence.
PETITIONS for an ENQUIRY into the ARMED INVASION of various Collation Centres and the SHOOTING incidents some of which resulted in DEATHS and injuries.
a) These took root from Ayawaso West Wuogon shooting spree.
b) These spilled over into armed invasion in Parliament.
c) These emboldened the deployment of armed personnel to intimidate some Ghanaians and go on the SHOOTING sprees during the Registration exercise.
Disenfranchisement of the PEOPLE of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe by not creating a new Constituency for them ahead of the 2020 ELECTION.
a) Court cases and
b) Public Agitation (including Demonstrations)
Endangerment of Ghanaians in the COVID-19 pandemic era during the Registration exercise, Exhibition exercise and the ELECTION proper resulting in possible infections and spike in COVID-19 positive cases.
On the basis of the above instances and additional information to be sourced from aforenamed organizations of stated misbehavior, gross incompetence, bias and procurement breaches, the undersigned demand the REMOVAL OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION CHAIRPERSON, Mrs. Jean Mensa from office invoking Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
It is the expectation that, flowing from this instant Petition, the President consistent with his earlier record on a previous Article 146 Petition for the Removal of an EC Chairperson, accordingly act with same dispatch as the CONVEYOR BELT for this instant Petition.
SIGNED this 18th Day of January 2021 AND DULY SUBMITTED at the Office of the President.
PRINCE-DEREK ADJEI ELIKEM E. K. KOTOKO
P. O. Box DS 1111 Dansoman Estates, Accra. P. O. Box LT721 Accra.
0244 379 389 0244 705-778
Richard E A Sarpong, Father Casford, the PRO and Conveynor 0505446753