Dzamefe Replacing Afari-Gyan?

Latest information picked by DAILY GUIDE from the corridors of government indicates that President Mahama and the Council of State are seriously considering Justice Senyo Dzamefe for the chairmanship position of the Electoral Commission (EC).

Current chairman, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, is going on retirement in the next two months, making his position vacant.

Article 70(2) of the country’s Constitution provides that, “The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairmen, and other members of the Electoral Commission.”

The president is therefore expected to act on the advice of the Council of State in appointing a new head for the constitutional body responsible for the conduct of elections in the country.

Dzamefe is said to enjoy the support of National Democratic Congress (NDC) national executives as well as David Kanga, a member of the Council of State and former EC deputy chairman, who believes that the EC job is not for a woman, a very curious explanation.

So far, five names, including those of Dzamefe and Justice Alhaji Saeed Kwaku Gyan, both justices of the Court of Appeal; Mrs Georgina Opoku Amakwaah and her colleague Amadu Sulley, both Deputy Commissioners of the EC; Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, Chairperson of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) and the Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, have cropped up.

Even though Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei has been widely touted as likely to be appointed to replace Afari-Gyan, fresh information trickling in from the Flagstaff House is that the name of Justice Senyo Dzamefe, the Appeal Court Judge who chaired the commission tasked to investigate Ghana’s participation in the 2014 world cup, ranks highest on the list.

World Cup Report

Interestingly, nothing serious has come out of the report submitted by the Dzamefe Commission, in spite of the damning revelations at its sittings involving even some ministers of state and other government appointees.

The only thing that has so far been heard about the findings is the commission making recommendations for the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi, to refund part of the ‘Co-efficient World Cup money’ to the state.

Nyantakyi revealed at one of the commission’s sittings that he sent the FA’s acting general secretary, Emmanuel Gyimah, to the finance ministry for the appearance fees meant for the management committee members of the Black Stars with a mathematical co-efficient of seven, taking into account the fact that originally the committee was made up of seven members, including the late Jordan Anagbla.

It is not too clear if the Dzamefe Commission made recommendations for anyone found culpable of wrongdoing to be prosecuted as the main man at the centre of the scandal, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, then Minister of Youth and Sports, sits comfortably at the presidency as a minister of state.

But so far, not even a single soul has been prosecuted in that regard.

His colleague Appeals Court Judge, Saeed Kwaku Gyan, seems to have crashed out of the race with allegations of bias hanging around his neck.

It follows a petition tabled before the Chief Justice by public workers’ unions over their tier two pension which they (unions) say Justice Saeed K. Gyan’s conduct in the case had made them ‘apprehensive.’

However, other contenders for the top EC job – Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Mrs Georgina Opoku Amakwaah, Amadu Sulley and Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei – are still said to be seriously lobbying for the position.

Dr Akwetey has denied working with any past or present vice president or president as alleged in earlier reports that he had worked with then Vice President John Evans Atta Mills.