EOCO investigates EC; asks Deputy boss, Accountant to proceed on leave

The Economic and Organised Crimes Office has written 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 Owusu Agyei-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 (retd.), acting Executive Director of EOCO.

It is unclear whether the Office has the power to ask especially the Deputy Commissioner to proceed on leave.

Article 44 (3) of the 1992 Constitution states that “The two Deputy Chairman of the Commission shall have the same terms and conditions of service as are applicable to a Justice of the High Court.”

Article 146 states in Clause 1 that “A Justice of the Superior Court or a Chairman of the Regional Tribunal shall not be removed from office except for stated misbehaviour or incompetence or on ground of inability to perform the functions of his office arising from infirmity of body or mind.”

Closely following is Clause 2 which says “A Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature or a Chairman of the Regional Tribunal may only be removed in accordance with the procedure specified in this article.”

Nonetheless, a number of officers of the elections governing body, have been asked to proceed on leave in connection with the case.

Confirming this to Joy News, Head of Public Affairs at the EC, Eric Kofi Dzakpaso, said a third person, Dr. Joseph Kwaku Asamoah, the Director of Finance, has also been asked to proceed on leave in connection with the investigations.

He stressed that no adverse finding has been made against any of the three at this point.

“They were only asked to proceed on leave to protect the integrity of the [investigation] process,” he added.