Two personnel from the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), on Monday afternoon, stormed the offices of the Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commissioner Mrs Georgina Opoku Amankwah to demand her exit from the office.
Speaking exclusively to Peacefm's Akwasi Agyemang, Mrs Agyemang explained that the personnel stormed her office to demand her exit because she was under investigation but she fiercely resisted.
Not even the presence of the EOCO boss who has joined his personnel to "drive out" the EC Deputy Commissioner from her office has worked.
"I was there this afternoon when some two officers from EOCO came to my office and asked me to leave the office so that they can lock it up because I'm under investigations. I told them i was not prepared to leave the office and the only way they could acoomplish their objective is by use of a bull-dozer," she stated in a matter-of-fact tone.
"As am talking to you right now, they are still here but i have contacted my lawyers," she added.
The Deputy Commissioner could not fathom why she alone was been forced out when all the commissioners under investigation are ensconced in their offices.
The EOCO, it would be recalled, wrote to the EC demanding that two officers of the commission be made to proceed on leave.
EOCO in a letter dated July 4, 2017, addressed to the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei, says it is investigating “the loss of about GH¢480,000 from the Endowment Fund at the Electoral Commission.”
It says Deputy Commissioner, Georgina Opoku Amankwaah and Chief Accountant Kwaku OwusuAgyei-Larbi are the key suspects and are assisting with investigations.
The investigative body wants the two to proceed on leave whilst investigations continue.
The three-paragraph letter was signed by ACP Mr. K.K. Amoah (rtd.), Executive Director of EOCO.
Already, Mrs Charlotte Osei, together with her two deputies – Georgina Opoku Amankwaah and Alhaji Amadu Sulley, in-charge of Operations – are being investigated by a five-member committee set up by the Chief Justice, following petitions filed against them on allegations of abuse of office and conflict of interest under Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution.
Mrs. Charlotte Osei and Amadu Sulley are still at post and have not been asked to step aside for the investigation to commence, although Ms. Opoku Amankwaah is on suspension on the orders of the EC boss; a situation the latter considers as unfair.
Earlier this year, lawyers of Ms. Opoku Amankwaah, wrote to the EOCO notifying the investigative body that the deputy commissioner was resuming work, even though the EOCO has said it was still investigating the alleged misappropriation of the Endowment Fund, based on which she was suspended.
Led by K. A. Asante Krobea, the lawters insisted that with the setting up of the Chief Justice’s committee to look into the abuse of office and conflict of interest claims against the three EC bosses, the EOCO has no basis to insist that the deputy EC chairperson should still stay at home.
The letter to the EOCO, dated January 2, 2018 with the heading, ‘Endowment Fund Investigation Resumption of Official Duty Our Client: Georgina Opoku Amankwaah (Ms), indicated that once the president had not suspended the deputy EC chair based on Article 146 (10) of the 1992 Constitution, it was ‘proper and fair’ for her to resume work.
The lawyers copied the Chief of Staff, Chief Justice, Attorney General, Senior Minister and Chairman of the Council of State.
According to them, the position of a deputy commissioner of the EC is akin to that of superior court judge; and their interdiction or removal from office should follow the dictates of Article 146 of the Constitution.
They claimed in the case of Ms. Opoku Amakwaah, none of the terms and reference under Article 146 of the Constitution had been evoked to warrant her interdiction; and they saw it as injustice.
The lawyers consequently advised the deputy chairperson to ‘immediately’ resume work and dared anybody to stop her from working.
But the anti-graft body, after receiving the letter, said the case was still under investigation and advised the lawyers to let their client stay out of work until the Attorney General advises on the report that EOCO sent to her office.
The EOCO reportedly a response on January 8, 2018, saying, “Investigation is said to be complete when advice is received from the Attorney General’s Department.
“Your client and others are not on leave because of the petition before Her Ladyship, the Chief Justice. You will do your client good service if you patiently wait for the advice from the Attorney General’s Office. Let’s follow due process.”
This is what has led to the current stand-off.
Ms. Opoku Amakwaah insists she will only the office at 5pm; her official time for closing for the day.