Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, has described the sacked Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Charlotte Osei, as one of the most competent persons he has ever met despite her dismissal for “incompetence” and procurement breaches.
President Nana Akufo-Addo removed Mrs Charlotte Osei from office together with her two deputies: Georgina Opoku Amankwah and Amadu Sulley, based on a recommendation from a committee set up by the Chief Justice.
Reacting to Mrs Osei’s dismissal on ClassFM on Friday, 13 July 2018, Mr Jackson defended the competence of the former EC chair.
Last year, the U.S. Embassy honoured Mrs Osei with the 2017 Women of Courage Award which is given annually to women around the world who have shown leadership, courage, and willingness to sacrifice for others, especially in promoting women’s rights.
Mr Jackson told show host Dr Etse Sikanku that: “I would give her the award as Woman of Courage again today if we were to do it over. I still believe that she and her fellow commissioners conducted the fairest, most transparent election I have ever personally witnessed. It was a tremendous success.
“I do not know if she violated any laws, I understand from what I’ve heard and read that the decision she made to rebuild the website during the election after it was hacked may have been in contravention of Ghana’s procurement laws but I also understand that the time was of the essence, so, I think she, from what I know, acted on what she felt was the right thing to do at the time.
“I don’t want to get into a debate about whether she was rightly impeached or not, I think that is for the court to decide, but, I have been very troubled about the accusation that she is incompetent, some people have used that word, but Charlotte Osei is one of the most competent people I have ever met.”
In 2017, a five-member committee was set up by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo to investigate alleged acts of corruption involving Mrs Osei and her two Deputies.
Some staff of the EC petitioned Nana Akufo-Addo to remove Mrs Osei from office over allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance as well as abuse of office.
Mrs Osei also counter-alleged corruption against her deputies insisting that she has done nothing wrong and only being hounded out because she is fighting internal graft.
The president, in accordance with the constitution, forwarded the petition to the Chief Justice to look into the matter.
The committee, after its work, recommended that Mrs Osei and her deputies be removed from office.