Charlotte Osei, until her appointment was head of the National Commission of Civic Education
Deputy Minority Leader Dominic Nitiwul has said that President John Dramani Mahama disrespected the Supreme Court by appointing a new chairperson for the Electoral Commission.
President Mahama Thursday announced Mrs Charlotte Osei as replacement for Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, who resigned after serving for 22 years. But Mr Nitiwul is of the view that the President should have waited for the Supreme Court’s ruling on a case filled by Journalist Richard Dela Sky, which sought to ascertain how the EC chairperson should be selected.
“I really have a big problem with the timing of the announcement,” he told Accra-based Citi FM.
Making reference a previous court case between Abu Ramadan and the EC over the usage of the National Health Insurance card for registration of voters, Nitiwul said: “Supreme court made it very clear to them that they thought that the case was there and it could be decided other way so they should have waited and make it look as if there was a stay of execution even though technically there was not one.”
“I believe it was the same principle that the President should have applied in this matter. But now it is as if the president did not show respect to the court because if any other person were to do that, the courts would come hard on the person,” he said.
“Now would the court be brave enough to do the same thing to the President? So he has really made the coming of the woman difficult for her because instead of people congratulating her, analyzing her competence, we are looking at whether the timing was right or not. And I don’t know why there was this rush,” Nitiwul added.
“If the Supreme Court were to say tomorrow that processes by which the President went is not what actually what the constitution actually means, will it mean that her appointment is null and void? Or will the President be directed to do it again?” he queried.
Richard Sky wants the Supreme Court to declare whether it is the President or the Council of State that has the mandate to select the head of the EC.